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THE 



PUBLICATIONS 



OF THE 



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VOLUME IV. 



FOFx THE YEAK ISUO 



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Founded 1887 

TO ENCOURAGE THE STUDY AND ADVANCE THE KNOWLEDGE 
OF THE HISTORY OF ENGLISH LAW. 



patron : 

Her Majesty the Queen, 

The Lord Chief Justice of England. 

The Lord Justice Fry. 

I^onorarg ^tcutarg for America: 
Ezra B>. Thayer, Cambridge, Mass. 

î^onorarg ^tcretarg anîr ^reasurn: 
P. Edward Dove, 23 Old Buildings, Lincoln's Inn. 



^^é Conti (gaton 



TOGETHER WITH 



SELECT PLEAS FROM THE BISHOP OF ELY'S 
COURT OF LITTLEPORT 



PKINTKI) BY 

SPOTTISWOODE AND CO., NEW-STUKET SQUARE 

LONDON 



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THE COUET BAEON 

BEING PRECEDENTS FOR USE IN SEIGNORIAL 
AND OTHER LOCAL COURTS 

TOGETHER WITH 

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EDITED 
FOR THE SELDEN SOCIETY 

BY 

FREDERIC WILLIAM MAITLAND 

AND 

WILLIAM PALEY BAILDON 



LONDON 
BERNARD QUARITCH, 15 PICCADILLY 

1891 



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FEB 11989.„„ 



Toronto, O^i 




PEEFACE. 



The miscellaneous character of this volume may require 
some explanation. Mr. Paley Baildon and I were charged 
by the Council of the Society with the task of continuing 
the work begun in the volume published in 1889, by print- 
ing some more extracts from the rolls of manorial courts, 
and one of those books of precedents that are included in 
this volume. But from one of these books I was led on to 
another, and so to a third, and to a fourth ; for, having 
once opened this new vein of materials, one could not 
easily stop working it until it had been somewhat fully 
explored. Meanwhile Mr. Baildon had been making 
extracts from the ancient and important rolls of Letcombe 
Kegis, a manor on the royal demesne. Until a late 
moment I hoped that there would be room for his work as 
well as for mine ; but the precedents proved more bulky 
than I had expected, and in the end it was discovered that 
this volume would be full before Letcombe Kegis was 
reached. I hope that the fruit of Mr. Baildon's labours 
will be given to the world in some later, and not much 
later, volume of our series. I hope, also, that when mem- 
bers of the Society have looked at the books of precedents, 
they will allow that, if I have erred in printing them upon 
the present occasion, the temptation to which I was exposed 
was one not easily to be resisted. 

For the inclusion of extracts from the rolls of Littleport 
I need offer no apology. Those rolls were placed at my 

VOL. IV. a 



VÎÎi THE COURT BARON. 

service by the kindness of Mr. 0. C. Pell. That the Society 
will be grateful to him for this act of generosity I make no 
doubt. Rolls that are in the Record Office can be found 
when they are wanted ; the opportunity of using rolls that 
are in private hands is not one that will occur every year. 

One of the French tracts here printed contains some 
words and passages that are not easily translated. This, 
I think, is due not altogether to any carelessness of mine, 
but in part, at all events, to the carelessness of a mediaeval 
scribe. In the translation of some of these phrases I have 
had invaluable help from M. Paul Meyer, Dr. A. J. Murray, 
Dr. W. W. Skeat, and Mr. York Powell, while Mr. J. E. 
Harting has given me some much needed information about 
the names of birds and beasts. I hardly like to mention 
the names of illustrious philologists in the preface of such 
a book as this, for, after all that they have done to keep 
me out of blunders, I fear that I, having but such know 
ledge of Anglo-French as a lawyer may pick up in reading 
the Year Books, have been guilty of many mistakes. Mr. 
Baildon's name appears along with mine upon the title 
page, and this is but right, as he has assisted me in many 
different ways ; but, as has been already explained, the 
matter that he was to have contributed has. been crowded 
out, and I must answer for all the faults of this book. To 
Mr. Dove, the Honorary Secretary of the Society, my 
thanks are due for hjs courtesy, 

F. W. M. 

Downing College, Cambridge : May 31, 1891. 



CONTENTS. 



PAGE 

Preface vii 

Introductory Note to Trecedents in Court Keeping . . 3 

La Court de Baron 20 

De Placitis et Curiis Tenendïs 6S ' 

Modus tenendi Curias (John of Longueville) . . . 7\) 

Modus tenendi Curias (S. Albans' formulary) ... 93 

Introductory Note to the Littleport Rolls . , . 107 

Pleas in the Court of the Bishop of Ely at Littleport, 

a.d. 1285-1327 119 

List of Obscure Words , .150 

Index of Matters , . irA 

Index of Peksons 155 



CUEIA BAKONIS 



THE COUET BAEON, 



VOL. ÎV 



I. II. m. lY. PEECEDEXTS IN COURT KEEPING. 

INTRODUCTOPvY NOTE. 

Besides the entries on real court rolls, there is another source 
whence we may obtain some knowledge of the manner in which 
the local courts of the middle ages conducted their business. 
Already in the thirteenth century a want was felt for formularies-, 
for model court rolls, for little treatises in which stewards, clerks, 
and pleaders might learn their duties, and extant manuscripts 
testify that divers persons set themselves to supply this want. 
The formularies and tracts thus produced must be distinguished 
from, though in the manuscripts they are often closely connected 
with, another set of formularies and tracts, namely those which 
deal with the economic rather than with the jurisdictional aspects 
of manorial affairs, tracts setting forth the duties of bailiffs and 
reeves, and precedents for manorial accounts. Of these latter 
some little has long been known through the medium of Fleta, 
and now at last Miss Lamond has published Walter of Henley's 
' Husbandry ' and several similar economic hand-books. 

Here we are to say something of the tracts and formularies 
which have for their subject-matter the local courts, which would 
teach stewards how to preside, clerks how to enrol, pleaders how 
to count and defend ; and us also they may teach some things 
that we should hardly learn from real court rolls, just as the 
student of modern English land law is likely to learn much from 
a good book of conveyancing precedents that he would hardly, if 
ever, discover in any chance assortment of real instruments. 

Now in the first half of the sixteenth century several little 
treatises on court keeping found their way into print. Among 
such books are the following, with the class marks which they 
bear at the British Museum : — 

1. Modus tenendi curiam baronis cum visu frane' plegii. . . 
Emprynted at London in Flete Strete at y^ signe of the sonne 
By me Wynkyn de Worde, no date [1510?]. C. 40. d. 55. 

2. Modus tenendi curiam baronis cum visu frane' plegii. II. 
Pynson, no date [151G?]. C. -10. c. H. 

h 2 



4 PRECEDENTS IN COURT KEEPINa. 

3. Modus tenendi curiam baronis cum visu franem [sic] plegii, 
E. Pynson, no date [1520?]> C. 40. c. 9. 

4. Modus tenendi curiam baronis cum visu franci plegii, J. 
Rastell, no date [1530?]. 1127. a. 51. 

5. Natura brevium .... (et inter alia) Modus tenendi 
curiam baronis cum visu franci plegii, W. Rastell, London, 
[1534?]. 507. a. 18. 

6. Modus tenendi unum hundredum siue curiam de recordo, 
R. Redman, London, 1539. 6281. aa. 26. 

7. The maner of kepynge a courte baron and a lete, Elisabeth 
Pykeryng, London [1542?]. 6005. a. 

8. The boke for a justic of peace .... (et inter alia) 
The boke that teacheth to kepe a court baron. The book teach- 
ing to keep a court hundred. . . . T. Berthelet, London, 1544. 
516. a. 2. 

9. The maner of kepynge a court baron and a lete, W. Mid- 
dilton, London, 1544. 1379. a. 2. 

10. The manner of kepynge a court baron and a lete, R. 
Toye, London, 1546. 516. a. 4. 

Clearly there was a considerable demand for such manuals, 
and the publishers of the day seem to have met it by mercilessly 
borrowing, if that be the right phrase, from each other. The 
proper thing to do was to reprint your rival's book, adding some- 
thing to it which would make it yet more attractive to buyers. 
Now even on the face of these works one can sometimes see that 
use has been made of materials that were not very new ; thus 
the proceedings of a court held in the reign of Edward IV. are 
held up as models for the practitioners of Henry VIII. 's reign ; 
still, of course, these manuals of the Tudor time cannot be 
received as unimpeachable witnesses when the question is as to 
the practice of earlier ages. When we go behind them to the 
manuscripts, a difficult problem awaits us. To fix the date of a 
manuscript collection of legal precedents is an impossible feat, 
unless by the date of the collection we merely mean the date of 
the manuscript that happens to lie before us ; for it can seldom 
have happened that any lawyer set himself to devise an entirely 
new set of forms, while on the other hand it can seldom have 
happened that any lawyer set himself or his clerk to copy an 
ancient collection with rigorous fidelity. A sound and useful 
precedent should be a well-tried form ; the editor of a modern 
collection would not recommend it to his professional brethren 
by saying that he had learnt nothing from his predecessors. On 
the other hand, chans;es in the law, changes in social and economic 



PRECEDENTS IN COURT KEEPING. 5 

habits, constantly require that the old precedents shall be revised, 
and so long as the literature of precedents is in manuscript the 
process of re\^sion takes place, not in the definite stages of new 
editions, but in countless small variations between individual 
codices ; in short, such a literature is not made but grows. On 
the present occasion our object will be to show what it was like 
at an early stage of its growth, when as yet it was literature of a 
novel kind. 

For this purpose I have selected four tracts which seemed to 
be among the most ancient and the most worthy of being put 
into print. As to the proof of their antiquity, one general remark 
may be made. Sometimes we can say no more than that they 
appear in MSS. which a judge of handwriting would probably 
assign to such or such a date ; in this case we fix but one of two 
limits, and that too with no great accuracy. We may say, for 
example, that the precedents in question are at least as old as 
Edward II. 's reign. But not unfrequently the precedents them- 
selves make mention of dates ; they suppose that the court whose 
proceedings they affect to describe was holden in, let us say, the 
thirtieth year of Edward I. Now this tends to prove, though it 
does not prove, two things : namely, first, that the precedents were 
devised or revised in or a little later than the year so men- 
tioned, and secondly that they have not undergone a thorough 
revision since that date. We cannot very easily believe that a 
deviser of precedents has deliberately, or even negligently, ante- 
dated them, nor can we very easily believe that a copyist or his 
employer has done much towards renovating a set of precedents 
in which an ancient dale has been left standing. No doubt there 
is danger in such inferences : some men are capricious, many 
men are careless ; still, if used with caution, the test here sug- 
gested may be of some service ; at any rate it is often the only test 
that can be used. 



PRECEDENTS IN COURT KEEPlKfi, 



The first piece to be here printed claims precedence over its 
fellows, not so much on accamit of its antiquity — for its date has 
not been precisely fixed — as because it seems the most elaborate 
and careful work of its kind. It makes indeed some claim to 
literary and scientific merit. It is a set of precedents for use in 
a seignorial court. It does not concern itself with the view of 
frankpledge or the business of a ' leet.' Throughout it is written 
in French ; it aims at instructing the steward of the court rather 
than the clerk, and therefore does not contain precedents for 
enrolments, which would be in Latin, Being in French we may, 
with some warrant from the MSS., call it La Court de Baron, or 
more at length. Les Encoiipemens en Court de Baron — the 
eticoupement [inculp amentum) is the plaintiff's count or declara- 
tion — but it also appears under the Latin names Curia Baronis 
and Curia Baronum. It has been discovered in seven MSS., a 
fact which testifies to its popularity, to wit, the following : — 

A=Camb. Univ. Library, LI. iv. 17, f. 135 b. 
C=Brit. Mus. Harleian, 748, f. 180 b. 
E=Brit. Mus. Egerton, 656, f. 177 b. 
N=Brit. Mus. Add. 5762, f. 102. 
0=Brit. Mus. Lansd. 467, f. 134. 
S=Brit. Mus. Harleian, 409, f. 59. 
X=Camb. Univ. Library, Mm. i. 27, f. 137 b. 

The first six of these MSS. would, I believe, prove that the 
book in question was current in the early years of the fourteenth 
century. The seventh MS., here called X, enables us (as I think) 
to say that at least one version of the book, or one part of the 
book, was known to and copied by a man who was already copy- 
ing documents in the year 1265. This Cambridge MS. is a very 
important and curious book, consisting of legal treatises and 
statutes, written for the most part, so it would seem, by one 
man, though probably at several different times. It contains a 
Registrum Brevium apparently of Edward I.'s day; then a great 
curiosity, namely what we may call a revised, expanded, and 
modernised edition of Glauvill's treatise ; then, after some few 
legal notes, the correspondence which took place between 
Henry III. and Simon de Montfort before the battle of Lewes ; 
then a short account of the battles of Lewes and Evesham, and 



PRECEDENTS IN COURT KEEPING. 7 

then (f. G7 b) a statement to the following effect : — * In the 40th 
year of King Henry son of King John and the year of our Lord 
12G5 at Whitsuntide the following page was written in the chapel 
of S. Edward at Westminster and extracted from the chronicles 
in a small roll by the hand of Robert Carpenter of Harcslade, 
and he wrote this.' The date is then given by reference to many 
different eras, ranging from that of the creation of the world to 
that of King Henry's last voyage into Gascony. In a later part 
of the book we find (f. 137 b) a copy of the treatise now in ques- 
tion, and this certainly seems to me to have been written by the 
same hand that wrote the note which has just been quoted, that 
is to say, by the hand of Robert Carpenter. It further seems 
from the statutes that he has copied that he must have lived 
through a considerable part of Edward I. 's reign : though, as we 
have just seen, he was writing in this book as early as 12G5. Ifc 
also contains (f. 78) a collection of precedents not unlike, though 
apparently unconnected with, that of John of Oxford, which will 
be mentioned by and by ; and from the dates which occur in this, 
one would infer that it was compiled in or about 12G8. Also it 
contains (f. 122) a set of precedents for criminal proceedings 
before justices in eyre which suppose a crime to have been com- 
mitted in the 9th year of Edward I. (1280-1), and on several 
occasions cites the opinions of Roger Thurkelby, a judge of 
Henry III.'s reign. Of Carpenter himself I have discovered 
nothing, but from many passages in his book he would seem to 
have been connected with the Isle of Wight or the neighbourhood 
of Southampton and Portsmouth. 

This MS. therefore would enable us with some certainty to 
ascribe to the thirteenth century this treatise, or rather one ver- 
sion of this treatise, while the other MSS. prove beyond doubt 
that it had become popular within a short time after that period. 
But it remains to be said that the MSS. disagree very widely as 
to how much the treatise should contain. Adding together all 
the precedents that we can find in all the MSS. taken together, 
we have G2 precedents, but no one MS. gives us as much as this. 
Taking the longest version that we have (that given by S), wo 
see that it easily falls into three parts. In the first part the 
steward is hearing civil causes, the plaintiff being either some 
private person or one of the lord's officers. The second part is 
introduced by a new preamble, and show^s how a steward should 
behave when he has no plaintiff before him but must of his own 
motion enforce the lord's jurisdictional rights, and inflict the due 
tale of amercements. It is closely connected with tlie first pait. 



8 PRECEDENTS IN COUKT KEEPING. 

The same fictitious persons appear in both. Thus in the first 
part Henry Combe brings an action for assault against Stephen 
Carpenter, and they receive * a love-day,' that is to say, time is 
given to them until the next session of the court to see whether 
they can come to terms. Then, in the second part, the case is 
* called on,' and the steward asks which of them is to pay the 
amercement, for an amercement of course there must be. So if 
in the first part a man has to wage his law, the same man will 
appear in the second part and will make or fail to make his law ; 
in the latter case the steward gets an amercement from him, in 
the former from his adversary. The third part, found hitherto 
in but one MS., namely S, deals with far less common things ; 
it supposes the lord to be enjoying franchises which enable his 
court to hear some of the pleas of the crown, and a sentence of 
death is passed. 

Now Part I. is given more or less completely by all our MSS., 
viz. A, C, E, N, 0, S, X. Part II. is given more or less com- 
pletely by four MSS., viz. A, C, E, S. Part III. is given by but 
one MS., viz. S. 

Against a claim on behalf of Part III. to be part of the ori- 
ginal work we have several facts. As already said, it has been 
found in but one MS., and as already said, it deals with cases which 
were beyond the competence of the usual feudal courts. To this 
must be added that it is intimately connected with another book, 
namely a treatise in French setting forth how pleas of the 
crown are treated by the king's justices in eyre. This latter 
treatise is found in the MS. that we have called X (f. 122), under 
the title Si comence la corone pledee devant justices^ and it con- 
tains a reference to the 9th year of Edward I. (1280-1). There 
has been selection and adaptation, for a lord's steward can never 
do all that might be done by a royal justice ; still the precedents 
in Part III. are substantially the same as some of the precedents 
found in the manual for the eyre. For these reasons we may, 
until other evidence is produced, believe that this part was added 
to the original work by some one who had in his eye some 
seignorial court which was endowed with some of the less com- 
mon ' liberties,' in particular the liberty of infangthief. 

Whether Part II. be as old as Part I. is a question about 
which evidence at present fails us. It is found more or less 
completely in four out of seven MSS. ; it is not found in the MS. 
(X) which seems to be the oldest. Still, as already said, it is 
closely connected with Part I., and if it be a continuation 
annexed by a later hand the work has been cleverly done. On 



PRECEDENTS IN COURT KEEPING. 

tliG whole, in this instance, there seems more reason to suspect 
omission than addition. A lawyer, who was having the work 
copied for him, might imagine that the light of natural reason 
would sufficiently guide him in doing all that the steward is sup- 
posed to do in Part II., though he might well want the elaborate 
precedents for pleadings that are given in Part I. 

But the substantial differences between the MSS. do not end 
here. Fixing our attention for awhile on Part I., we see that, as 
here printed, it contains 25 precedents. Now four of these (pi. 
6, 7, 8, 9) are contained only in S and X ; while, on the other 
hand, three of them (pi. 17, 18, 19) are not contained in S or X. 
Thus the MSS. in this respect fall into two groups, the one con- 
sisting of A, C, E, N, 0,^ the other of S, X. There are some 
indications that the version given by these two last-mentioned 
MSS. is an old one ; X we have seen to be an old MS. ; S 
stands alone in giving, in some though not. all cases, Latin head- 
ings to French precedents, which may be regarded as a sign of 
antiquity; both agree in often making a defendant 'defend,' 
that is, deny, * tort and unreason ' {tort e non resoun), instead of 
using the phrase that became common, namely, ' tort and force ; ' 
this also may be a sign of antiquity. But then S and X are not 
in all respects very closely related, for they present their pre- 
cedents in a different order ; indeed in this matter S stands 
apart from all the other MSS. It seems possible that originally 
the first part of the book contained all the 25 precedents that are 
here printed. The four cases given by S andX (pi. 6, 7, 8, 9), but 
not found elsewhere, might well have been omitted by a reviser, 
for they are all cases of violent trespass, and one such case (pi. 5) 
had already been given, and might well seem a sufficient guide. 
No similar reason can be adduced for the omission of the three 
cases (pi. 17, 18, 19) which are not found in S or X ; still there 
seems to be no sufficient cause for rejecting them or describing 
them as interpolations.^ 

We give Part II. as consisting of 33 precedents or sections 
(pi. 26-58). This number however is obtained by fusing together 
two substantially different versions. The one is given by A, C, E, 
and contains the first 19 of these precedents (pi. 26-44), though 
C goes no farther than the end of pi. 35. The version found in 
S differs from this by giving both less and more, and by intro- 

' O goes no further than half- ^ In S the order of the x>lacita is 

way through pi. 22. There seems 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 

no reason whatever for supposing IG, 22, 23, 5, G, 7, 24, 25, 9, 20, 21. 
that the original work stopped here. 



10 PRECEDENTS IN COURT KEEPING 

ducing the sections in another order. It does not contain pi. 38, 
89, 40, 41, 42, 43 ; on the other hand it contains what we here 
print as pi. 47-58 inclusive, and these are not found in the other 
MSS., though pi. 54 is much the same as pi. 44. The order in 
which it gives this matter is the following, pi. 45 (very like pi. 27), 
46 (very like pi. 28), 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54 (very like 44), 
20, 55, 56, 80, 31, 82, 88, 34, 85, 29, 86, 37, 58. Which of these 
two versions is the older it were difficult to say ; they are found 
in MSS. which, so far as I can judge, are very nearly of even 
date. That given by S is rather the more elaborate of the two, 
but from this fact different judges might draw different inferences. 
On the whole, therefore, the confession must be made that I 
have made no pedigree of the MSS. ; very many links seem to 
be wanting ; A, C, and E seem to be closely connected, more 
especially C and E ; I think that N and are connected ; S and 
X stand apart from the rest and are not very near to each other. 
What I have done is this — I have taken my text from A ; what 
was not in A, I have taken partly from X, partly from S. To 
come to particulars : — 

Part I. (pi. 1-25). The text is from A, save that of pi. 6, 7, 
8, 9, which (being only found in S and X) is taken from X. 

Part II. (pi. 26-58). The text of pi. 26-44 is from A, that 
of pi. 45-58 is from S (being only found in that MS.). 

Part III. (pi. 59-62). The text is from S (being only found 
in that MS.). 

The text of the chosen MS. is, it is hoped, reproduced here 
quite faithfully, the letters which in the original are represented 
by ' compendia ' being here distinguished by italic type. A few 
very obvious blunders by way of omission or repetition of words 
have been corrected, but of this full notice is given in a footnote. 
Then to some extent the other MSS. have been collated (of 
I have made but little use), but only for the purpose of obtaining 
substantially different readings ; to have noted all the literal 
variations would have been in effect to print the whole treatise 
many times over. The number of ways in which one might legi- 
timately spell many a common word such as seigneur was prac- 
tically infinite. Nor are all verbal variations noted : for ex- 
ample, one MS. will make the plaintiff's count end with Si 
conoistre &c., another will get as far as Si conoistre le veut de, 
another will get as far as Si conoistre le veut heu li est de., 
while a fourth will not stop short of suie hone e suffisant. The 
whole formula having once been given in full, as it is in the 



PRECEDENTS IN COURT KEEPING. 11 

first precedent, there seemed no need to remark how much of 
it is written out by each copyist in subsequent precedents. 

I may here mention that this tract is similar in form to 
another tract written in French which certainly ought to be in 
print. Under some such title as Brevia Placitata it appears in 
several of our legal MSS. (e.g. Harl. 748, Harl. 409, Camb. 
Univ. Ee. i. 1). It consists of precedents for pleadings in the 
king's court, each precedent consisting of a writ, a count, and a 
plea. It is often introduced by a preamble which is closely 
similar to the preamble which in some MSS. serves to introduce 
the present tract. Thus in Harl. 409, f. 97, * Ces sunt les brefs 
les encoupemens e les defenses e les délaies e les excepcions e les 
kors e les jugemenz donez solum ley de terre ; ... si put horn 
aprendre coment entrer pur conte conter devaunt justices au banc 
ou en eyre ou en conte ou en curt de baron.' This is strikingly 
like the preamble which will be found at the head of the book 
that is here printed, and it seems to hold out a promise, which 
remains unfulfilled, that the treatise will deal with the inferior 
as well as with the superior courts. Perhaps the two treatises 
are really two parts of one work. At any rate this Brevia Placi- 
tata deserves the attention of the Selden Society. In several 
MSS. the first writ is supposed to be issued by a king of the 
name of Henry, and all other Henries being quite out of the ques- 
tion, he must be Henry III. Even though no MS. be discovered 
that is so old as J 272, still we have here some evidence that the 
book was composed before that date (in Harl. 409, the first writ 
is dated in the 54th year of King Henry, i.e. 1269-70), and in 
that case we may have in it our earliest French law book, a book 
some twenty years older than Britton. Such a book should not 
remain unprinted. 



(II.) 

The'second of our four tracts may with some probability be 
ascribed to a certain Brother John of Oxford, a monk in the 
Priory of Luffield ; it appears to have been composed in the very 
last years of Henry III. or early in the next reign. It is found 
in a MS. Camb. Univ. Libr. Ee. i. 1, f. 233. This book, which 
once belonged to the monks of Luffield, has passed through the 
libraries of Sir Piobert Cotton, Francis Tate, and Bishop Moore, 
and was given to the University of Cambridge by George I. 
It contains many legal treatises and statutes : a French version 



12 PEECEDENTS IN COUET KEEPING. 

of the so-called Laws of Edward the Confessor, which has not, I 
think, been printed ; a Glanvill, a Bracton, a Hengham, a 
Registrum Breviurn, and an early specimen of Brevia Placitata, or 
precedents for pleadings in the King's Court. These were 
written by various hands at various times. But there is in 
this book one section which concerns us. This (f. 225) consists 
of (1) a collection of Precedents for Conveyances, Leases, Bonds, 
Wills etc. ; also for documents in use in ecclesiastical affairs, 
Letters of Citation, Excommunication, Absolution, Presentation 
etc. ; (2) a set of Precedents for Manorial Accounts ; (3) the 
treatise here printed ; (4) a letter by which a request is made 
for a gift of timber, followed by the remark that * the date of our 
Lord King Edward changes on the day of S. Edmund in 
November, while the date of grace changes on the Annunciation 
of the Blessed Mary.' Edward I. began his reign on S. 
Edmund's Day. 

Now the first of these four pieces, the collection of precedents 
for documents, ends with words which tell how it was composed 
by John of Oxford. Of this work I have spoken elsewhere.^ 
Certainly its author was familiar with Oxford ; many of his 
precedents are real or hypothetical dealings with land in that 
city or its neighbourhood ; he mentions the High Street 
(magna strata), the churches of S. Mary and of All Saints, and 
the ' Aqua que vocatur Charewelle ;' and among his precedents 
is one well suited to the needs of an undergraduate, for it is a 
letter by a son who is studying at Oxford to his father, asking 
for money — ' Ne pro tali defectu scolas relinquere, tempus 
amittere, domumque redire compellar.' Were we to explore 
this book, we might find ourselves guessing that instruction in 
conveyancing was given in Oxford. Some acquaintance with 
this art must have been very useful in a great monastery, and 
we may learn from Brother John's work, as well as from many 
other quarters, that in his day the drawing of an ordinary 
mercantile bond demanded some knowledge of Canon, if not of 
Roman, law. But though our author's head was full of Oxford 
when he composed his book, it seems clear that he became a 
monk in the Priory of Luffield, which stood on the border between 
the counties of Buckingham and Northampton, some twenty 
miles away from the learned city. This appears from a form of 
procuration which supposes that Adam, Prior of Lufïield, and 
his Convent, on Tuesday after the feast of S. Lucy in the year 
1273, appointed their fellow-monk, Brother John of Oxford, to 

' Law Quarterly Review, Jan, 1891. 



PRECEDENTS IN COURT KEEPING. 13 

be their proctor in certain proceedings before the Bishop of 
Lincoln. The date of this instrument, real or hypothetical, may 
cause us some little difficulty, for according to one story the only 
Prior of the name of Adam who can be in question was one who 
presided over the monastery from 1279 to 1287.^ Also we must 
believe that the treatise in its present form cannot be older 
than 1280, for it contains a document by which Prior Adam and 
his Convent pray Oliver, Bishop of Lincoln — this must be 
Oliver Sutton, w^ho was consecrated in 1280— to admit one 
Walter of Murseley to priest's orders. Still most of the instru- 
ments that bear dates are supposed to be executed in or shortly 
before the year 1274, and from this we may infer that the main 
part of the book was compiled in or shortly after that year. 
Passing to the precedents for manorial accounts, we find that 
they also are dated in 1274, and then passing to the tract on court 
keeping which is to be here printed, we find that the imaginary 
courts were holden in the fifty-fourth year of Henry HI. or the 
year of grace 1269. Thus, so far as their dates are concerned, 
these three pieces seem to hold together, and between Brother 
John's precedents in conveyancing and the precedents for court 
rolls there is this further connexion : both, when the name of a 
water-course is required, choose the Cherwell, a stream better 
known at Oxford than at Luffield. There seems, then, some 
ground for the belief that Brother John was the author, or the 
adapter, or editor — for, as already said, the formation of a book 
of precedents can seldom show any high degree of originality — 
as well of the ' Court Keepers' Guide ' as of the * Manual for 
Draftsmen ;' but, be this as it may, we can with some certainty 
attribute the former to the year 1269, or some slightly later 
date. It is not to be supposed, however, that what we possess 
is John of Oxford's autograph ; there are so many blunders in 
the text, some of an unusual character, that it would seem to 
have been transcribed by some one who was not expert in the 
terms of the law. His hand is not a lawyer's hand, but a 
monastic book hand. 

(HI.) 

Our third tract may be ascribed to the year 1307, or a slightly 
later date. It is found in a MS. Camb. Univ. Libr. Dd. vii. 6. 
f. 57, a magnificent folio book containing a Bracton, a Britton, 
and other legal treatises and statutes, which seem to have been 

' Monast. iv. 34G. 



14 PRECEDENTS IN COURT KEEPING. 

written during the last years of Edward I. and the first of 
Edward II. by various hands of the legal type.^ Many of its 
pages are richly glosFed by a hand which also wrote portions of 
the text, and Mr. Nichols, who made great use of it when 
making his edition of Britton, has shown reason for the belief 
that it was made for, and glossed by, one Sir John of Longue- 
ville, a lawyer who lived under the first two Edwards, who 
represented the borough of Northampton in Parliament, and 
who at least on one occasion acted as a justice of assize. Mr. 
Nichols also thinks that the MS. was at one time in the hands 
of our patron John Selden, and that allusion is made to it in 
the ever-famous dissertation suffixed to * Fleta.' ^ 

The section of the book which interests us begins (f. 55) 
with a statement that may be thus Englished : — * In this quire 
are contained charters, covenants, chirographs, obligations, 
testaments ; then follows the mode of pleading in the court of a 
baron, knight, or freeholder ; then how we ought to inbreviate 
and inrol pleas, attachments, plaints, essoins, appearances, 
amercements, wagers of law, love-days, concords, plaints in the 
county, counts, defamations, trespasses, answers, appeals in the 
county, appeals before the justices, of rape, of manslaughter, of 
flights to sanctuary, captions of laymen and clerks and their 
deliverances in the county, the duty of [sheriffs] ^ and their duty 
in the hundreds and the like, the duty of coroners. Also there is 
contained the manner of inbreviating and ordaining the duty of 
the reeve and the steward. Then follows the inventory of a 
manor and the method of accounting. Then follows the view of 
frankpledge, the assize of bread and beer, and the bakers' gain.' 

This lengthy title finished, there appears a collection of 
precedents in conveyancing, in which mention is made of the 
thirty-fifth (and last) year of Edward I., of the first of Edward 
II., and of the year of grace 1307. In it the effect of the 
statute Quia emptores is duly noticed, and is spoken of as 
having been accomplished ' per ordinationes novissimas apud 
Westmonasterium factas.' The precedents end (f. 57) with a 
testament, and upon this follows without any break the matter here 
printed. It will be seen that the court is supposed to be holden 
in the thirty-fifth year of Edward I. (20 Nov. 1306-7 July, 1307). 

' In the printed catalogue this Mr. Henry Bradshaw, who in his 

MS. is by some strange mistake own copy of the catalogue has 

ascribed to Henry VI. 's reign ; but corrected the error, 

in support of what is said above I "^ Nichols, Britton, i. pp. xlix. Ixi. 

can refer not only to the testimony ^ Some word is missing in the 

cjf Mr, Nichols, but also to that of original. 



PRECEDENTS IN COURT KEEPING. 15 

Then, without any break, we have the Officium Coronatoris, and 
then precedents for manorial accounts, supposed to be those of 
a manor of N[icholas] Segrave, for the year beginning at 
Michaelmas in 35 Edward I. The other matters mentioned in 
that introductory statement of which a translation has just 
been given, then follow, including two sets of articles for the 
view of frankpledge, one in French, the other in Latin, in 
addition to the set included in the tract on court keeping. Thus 
the year 1307 is the date to which we should most naturally 
assign that tract in the form in which it will here be published. 



(IV.) 

Our fourth tract is, at least in the form which it here assumes, 
of later date than the other three. It is found in a MS. Camb. 
Univ. Libr. Ee. iv. 20, a formulary containing precedents of 
many various kinds, civil and ecclesiastical, compiled for the use 
of the Abbey of S. Albans. It professes to relate what hap- 
pened in certain imaginary courts held in the fourteenth and 
sixteenth years of Edward III., and in close contact with it we 
find manorial accounts which are supposed to relate to the 
thirteenth year of the same king. We may guess, then, that 
the precedents for courts which are here printed were devised or 
revised in 1342 or thereabouts, though the MS. from which we 
take them is not of so ancient a date. They are partly in Latin, 
partly in French ; the matter which is to be enrolled is in 
Latin, the matter which is merely to be spoken is in French. 
In spite of the help kindly given me by some very learned 
scholars, I am obliged to leave a few of the French words un- 
translated, and to hope that if, as seems likely, there has been 
bad copying, it is due to the monk of S. Albans. 

And now a word of some other tracts wdiich will not be 
here printed. Closely connected in some way or another with 
the second and third of our four, is another little piece which 
bears the title Officium Justiciar iorum. It is found, for 
example, in the Cambridge MS. Dd. vii. 14, f. 229, a MS. which 
has some of the precious Year Books of Edward I. It begins 
thus: — 'Hie incipit summa que vocatur Officium Justiciariorum. 
Hie tractatur de composicionibus licium in foro laicaly secula- 
rium.' After explaining that, though this may seem strange, it 
will be best to begin with the humbler courts and end with the 
more dignified, it gives proceedings which are supposed to 



16 PRECEDENTS IN COURT KEEPING-, 

take place in the court of some earl, baron, or knight in the 
year 1280. It then passes to a hundred court, thence to a 
county court (supposed to be that of Worcestershire), and thence 
to the court of the justices in eyre. It ends with these words : 
*In ista summa continetur modus curias tenendi et inbre- 
viandi et modus tenendi hundredum et modus tenendi comitatum 
et officium coronatoris et officium justiciariorum tam corone 
quam terre et capitula spectancia regie corone. Explicit Officium 
Justiciariorum,' In form it is somewhat like the third of our 
four tracts, but some of the pleadings in it are found in the 
second of the four. 

Another piece of the same character is given by a MS. Brit. 
Mus. Lansd. 467, f. 141. This supposes a court held in 19 
Edward I. (1280-1). It can hardly be called the same thing 
as any other of the pieces yet mentioned, though it resembles 
them closely. It seems evident that before the thirteenth 
century was out there was a stock of ' common forms ' current 
among lawyers, and that many different persons made it their 
own by such modifications as suited their offices and their tastes. 

There is another treatise similar in some respects to the first 
of our four, and this also can be found in MSS. of the early part 
of the fourteenth century, e.g. Brit. Mus. Egerton, 656, f. 188 b. 
It begins thus : — ' Cheskun manere de trespas si pust estre pledde 
en deus maneres, ou par bref, ou par pleynte sanz bref.' It is 
chiefly concerned with cases of trespass and debt in seignorial 
courts. As it tells us little that could not be learnt from the 
tract that we are calling * La Court de Baron,' it will not be here 
printed, but a few remarks which occur in it may be of some 
interest. In the first place it denies that there can be wager of 
law in an action of trespass. In such an action a defendant is 
supposed to offer his law ; the plaintiff objects, for this is a high 
trespass against the peace, and in it there lies 'averment of the 
country,' and not defence by his law. Then follows a note to the 
effect that in the court of a baron if one be charged with blood 
or wound, or the taking of chattels, and he offers his law, judg- 
ment will go against him if his opponent desires it, for there 
should be an ' averment of the country.' This doctrine shows 
the advance that trial by jury (for of course it is to this that an 
' averment of the country ' would lead) was making even in the 
seignorial courts. As a matter of fact, defendants charged with 
trespasses occasionally waged their law in comparatively recent 
times, but perhaps the plaintiffs allowed them to do this, for it 
seems probable that a man who waged his law ran a very con- 



PRECEDENTS IN COURT KEEPING, 17 

siderable risk of not being able to make it. This is brought out 
by a description of the process which is given by the treatise that 
I am describing. The wager takes this form : — ' he shall wage 
his law with his twisted glove [de sun gaunt plyee) and shall 
deliver it into the hand of the other, and then take his glove 
back and find pledges for his law.' The point of this ceremony 
with the glove seems to be that the defendant having to give 
security for the performance of his promise, namely that he will 
purge himself with compurgators, would in very old times have 
had at once to deposit some chattel of value in his adversary's 
hand ; this is represented by the glove, though why it should 
be twisted I cannot say. But the contract with pledges (i.e. 
sureties) having now supplanted the contract with the vadium, 
toed, or gage, the gaged glove is given back to the promiser 
so soon as he has found what is really to be the security for 
the fulfilment of his promise ; in short, the dealing with the 
glove is now but a ceremony because the defendant has pledges, 
sureties, ready to hand. All this is very noticeable, for learned 
writers have suspected that the promise to fulfil the judgment of 
a court of law, a promise secured by the delivery of a tved or 
gage, is one of the oldest, if not the very oldest, of all enforceable 
contracts. But, to go on to the making of the law : this treatise 
tells us that each compurgator swears separately, and his oath 
takes a most absolute form ; he does not merely say that he 
believes his principal's oath ; he says, as of old, ' The oath that 
S. hath sworn is true, so help me God and the saints.' Now a 
decently honest man would, one might think, shrink from such 
an oath unless he knew something of the facts. But this is not 
all, for clearly any slip in a somewhat elaborate ceremony might 
be fatal to the defendant's cause. In many ways, we are told, can 
one fail in one's law, as thus, if the principal withdraws his hand 
from the book while he is making the oath, or fails to kiss the 
book, or does not say the words in full as they are charged against 
him, or if he has not the due number of compurgators, or if any 
of them makes a default. We can well understand a man pre- 
ferring to put himself upon the oath of his neighbours for good 
and ill rather than to trust that twelve of his neighbours would 
be able, to say nothing of being willing, to utter the requisite 
formula without a slip. Finally, there are MSS. and printed 
books in which one finds these verses : 

Qui legem vadiat, nisi lex in tempore fiat, 
Mox condemnetur, taxatio non sibi detur. 

VOL. IV. C 



18 PRECEDENTS IN COURT KEEPING. 

Of their merits as poetry nothing need he said, but their meaning 
seems this : if a defendant wages, but fails to make his law, he 
has to pay whatever damages the plaintiff has thought fit to 
demand ; a * taxation ' of the damages by a jury will not be 
granted him. Altogether, therefore, waging one's law seems to 
have been risky work. 

One object of this Introductory Note will have been attained 
if readers of it are convinced that there are still many monuments 
of the legal industry and learning of the thirteenth century (in 
particular, precedents in conveyancing) which are not, but ought 
to be, printed. 



LA COUET DE BAEON 



THE COUET BAEON 



LA COURT DE BAKOX. 



I. Incipit Curia Baronum.^ 

2 Si ^ put hom trouer tut sufisaument e '^ tut planement 
tut -^ le cours de court de baroun ^ e les attachemenz e les 
destresces e les quereles ^ e les curz tenus ^ e les essoignes 
e les profres e les encoupemenz e les defenses e les délayes 
e les jours de amour e le office du seneschal cornent il deit 
parler la ou il tent les curz.^ E si put un junes hom 
aprendre ^° cornent il parlera e vere la manere ^^ destoigte- 
ment.^'-^ 

Encupement de huteys leue.'^ 

[1] Sire Senesbhal ^^ le baillif Eobert par noun que ci 
est se pleynt de Richard ^-^ le Draper qe la est qe la ou il 
vent en la pees deu e en la pees le seigmtr e en la vostre qe 
auez la pees agarder e mayntenir tel hour a hour de cucher 
'^ le jour de seint Johan ^^ cest an que fut, la vent Richard 
le Draper e leua une huteys en sa meson demeyne ipur 
unes vilaines paroles que surdirent entre William ^^ le 
Lunge ^^ son veisyn et ly p^r une dette que Willam ly 
deuoit noun pas rendu le iour entre eus assis, -pu?' le qele 
huteys leue e ne mie adrait p^^rsuy le seignt^r ad perde e 
damage a la mountaunce de xx. s. e huntage de demi marc. 
Si conustre le voit, beu li est, sil dédit, atort le dédit, kar 
nous en aums sute bone e suffisant. 

' Incipit summa curie baronum C. Ici comencent les encoupemenz e 
les defenses de cours de baron N. No title O. Ici comence cort de baron 
e la sen[eschausie] S. Incipit curia baronis X. - Ont. following para- 

graph X. 3 Ci C. Ici N. * Om. e A. ^-** les curz de barons 

A C. '-^ Om. E. " la court E. •«-" Om. E. '^ distinctement 

CENO. " Add pur vileine paroles X ''' Ins. ce vous mustre E. 

'■■• Willame EX. >6-n q,,^^ CENX. >« Walter S. '' Wiliame de 

Waltone N. 



THE OOUKT BARON. 



I. Here beginneth the Court Baron. 

Here may one find all sufficiently and all fully the whole 
course of a court baron and the attachments and the 
distresses and the plaints and the proceedings and the 
essoins and the proffers and the accusations and the 
defences and the delays and the days of love* and the 
office of the steward how he shall speak when he holdeth 
the courts. And herewithal may a young man learn how 
he shall speak and see the manner distinctly. 

Charge of hue levied. 

[1] Sir steward, the sworn ^ bailiff, Robert by name, 
who is here, complaineth of Richard Draper, who is there, 
that as he went in the peace of God and in the peace of the 
lord and in thine, who art charged to guard and maintain 
the peace, at such an hour, at the hour of bed-time, on the 
day of St. John this year that was, there came Richard 
Draper and raised a hue in his house for certain villain 
words which arose between him and William Long his 
neighbour about a debt, which William owed him and 
which was not paid on the day fixed between them, by 
reason of which hue levied but not rightly prosecuted the 
lord has loss and damage to the amount of 20s. and shame 
to the amount of a half-mark. H confess he will, well and 
good ; if he denieth, wrongfully he denieth, for we have 
suit good and sufficient. 

* A love-day, dies anioris, is a *• Throughout several MSS. the 

flay given to the parties in order that bailiff is called the sworn bailiff 

they may come to terms during the (ba ill if jure). 
interval. 



21 LA COURT DE BARON. 

^ Beus amy Richard,- auez entendu ceo que le baillif ad 
comité vers yous. 

Sire, oil. 

Responez dunkes de pardeu.^ 
Defpn-e Tort 6 force e ^ la peez deu e '' la pees le seignitr enfreynt 

e la vostre que auez la peez agarder e amayntemr e les 
perdes e les damages le seignu?' de xx. s. e le huntage de 
de demi marc e de checun dener defend Richard ^ que ci 
est encountre le baillif Robert par noun que la est e en- 
countre sa sute, e quant que il ly mette sur ^ ; e bien vous 
mustre qe unkes teu jour ne a tel houre en tut cest an pur 
chose qe ly estoit dit ou fet par William ^ son veysin ou 
par nul autre ne fu huteys ne crie leue en sa meson ^ sicum 
ily mette sur. E de ceo est il prest de aqmter par tûtes 
maneres que ceste curte agarde qe aquiter le ^° dait. 

Beus amy s Richard, ^^ fet le seneschall, ceste curt agarde 
que vous seiez a vostre ley ^^ a vostre sime ^^ mayn a la 
procheyne curt encountre Robert e encountre sa sute ^^* de 
vous aquiter qe par \ous descord huteys ne estri '•'' leue ne 
fut sicum '^ Yous mette sur. 

E si il voudra reconustre les huteis leue dounke p?irra 
il dire : — Tort e force defend Richar^Z etc. e bien reconust 
le huteis en autre manere ^^ leue a tel houre e a teu jour 
même cest an que fut, nomement p?/r pour que il auait de 
vilaines paroles ^® William son veisin e de ces manaces que 
souent fu enpoint ^^ de ly occir tele nut p?(r une dette que 
il ly deuoit noun pas rendu a houre ^^ ne a te?-me entre eus 
assis. 

Beus amis Richard,^^ coment est cheste chose apese 
entre yous. 

Sire, il se sent ^^ lendemaine que il auoit mespris uers 

• Om. three next sentences X. "^ Willam E. ' de part deu E. 

Add Sire volunters C. Add Sire volunters par lei de ceste court S. In S 
the two alternative defences which follow are fused together. **— ^ Oni. C. 
« Willame EX. ' Oni. seven last words E. « Walter S. ^ Om. 

en sa meson E. ^^ ly C. se NX. sey E. " Willam E. *' ^ une 

ley XNE. " syme CE. sisime X. "* Om. rest of paragraph EX. 

»^ estrif C. cri N. '^ Ins. il CN. »^ Om. en autre manere CEN. 

^^ Ins. de C. '^ en byaunce C. en bay E. en banunce ISI. en bave O. 

2« jour E. 21 ^Yiii.,iv. E. " il se g^j-^^y q ^j j^^^ gg^^^j ^y. Sire fet 

il jeo vous dirroi il Be senti S. 



THE COURT BARON. 21 

Fair friend Eicliard, hast heard that which the baihff 
hath counted against thee ? 

Yea, sir. 

Answer thou then in God's name. 

Tort and force and any breach of the peace of God and 
the peace of the lord or of thine, who art charged with 
guarding and maintaining the peace, and the loss and 
damage of the lord to the amount of 20s. and the shame of 
a half-mark and every penny of it, defendeth Bichard, who 
is here, against the bailiff, Kobert by name, w^ho is there, 
and against his suit, and all that he surmiseth against 
him ; and well he showeth thee that never on such a day 
nor at such an hour in all this year, for anything said or 
done by William his neighbour or by any other was hue or 
cry raised in his house as he surmiseth against him ; and 
of this he is ready to acquit himself in all such wise as this 
court shall award that acquit himself he ought. 

Fair friend Eichard (saith the steward), this court 
awardeth that thou be at thy law six-handed at the next 
court against Eobert and against his suit, to acquit thyself 
that by thee no discord, hue nor strife was raised, as he 
hath surmised against thee. 

But if he icill confess that the hue icas raised^ then he 
may say as follows : — Tort and force etc. defendeth Richard, 
and right well he confesseth that the hue was raised, though 
in other manner, at such an hour on such a day this year 
that was, to wit, for the fear that he had by reason of the 
villain words and the threats of William his neighbour, who 
often was on the point of slaying him that night for a debt 
which he owed him and had not paid at the hour and term 
fixed between them. 

Fair friend Richard, how was this matter appeased 
between you ? 

Sir, on the morrow he [William] felt that he had 



22 LA COURT DE BARON. 

mey en dit e en fet ^ inir une dette que me deuoit, si me 
pWa par deus ^ hom??ies de la vile que ly pardonas ^ le très- 
pas que il out encountre mey fet e mey offrit plainement 
les amendes ; jeo par consail des mes amyspris les amendes 
que il me offrit a teu couenaunt que il entre nous e may 
vers le seignior freit les amendes i^ur le trespas pleinement, 
e ensement en vers yous si de riens vousez clialanger,'* e de 
ceo me troua il deus pièges A. e B. par noun.^ 

Eichard,^ fet le seneschall, yous auez aumeyns reconu 
par my vostre bouche en ceste plaine curt lez huteys e la 
crie leuez teu jour a tel houre &icmn le baillif yous mette 
sur "pur une trespas que William ^ vostre veysin yous dut 
auer fet a vostre dit, e ne poez dédire en ceste curt que 
yous ne auez ceste chose concele ^ ; ipur quay ceste curt 
agarde qe yous seiez en la mercy le seignttr de ses damages 
e de ces pertes et huntage fetes e taxes, e que yous recouerez 
sur William ^ e ses ^^ pièges en la fourme de dreit. 

*' Si deuez sauer que touz les attachemenz deiuent estre 
fez par baillif e par li punt il estre relessez en cas, e en cas 
noun, pwr ceo que nul homme ne swit les attachez sicum le 
baillif ^^ pwr les choses que sunt fetes encountre les 
franchises le seignwr. Mes ipuis que eles sount quereles e 
responduz ^^ ne pount il riens relesser si noun par la cente- 
timent deuie nul ^^ ne se poit acorder saunz congé le seignwr^'* 
e par ly purruwt hardiment acorder. ^^ 



* enerifet A. ^ Lis. prodes S. ' queo jeo pardonasse E. ke 

Jeo ly pardonasse C. * si de rent fussez chalange C. si de rien feusse 

chalange S. sim. N. * pièges A. B. C. par nonns N. ^ Willam E. 

Robert iV. ^ Walter S. ^ Lis. e entre vous ceste chose apeysee X. 

sim. E. ^ Walter S. •" ou de ses X. " This note is not in S. 

^^ attachez si noun le baylif E. sim N. attachez si noun les baillyfs C. 
attachez si le baillif non X. '^ mes pus ke les quereles sount respitez N. 
^* assentiment des parties nés nul C. consentement des partyes mes nul 
E. sim. NO. '^ Ins. ou du seneschal ky est en lieu le seignur N. sim. O. 
"^ Mes nul se poit acorder si par le congé le baillif non, sauue le dreit le 
seigneur ; mes par son congé porront il hardiemeut acorder X instead of last 
sentence. 



THE COlTvT EARON. 22 

transgressed against me by word and deed about a debt 
which he owed me, and he prayed me by two [good] men 
of the vill that I w^ould pardon him the trespass done 
against me and offered me full amends ; and I by counsel 
of my friends took the amends which he offered me upon 
this agreement that he, as between us two, should make 
full amends to the lord for the trespass, and also to thee if 
thou shouldest claim aught, and for so doing he found me 
two pledges, A. and B. by name. 

Eichard (saith the steward), thou hast at least confessed 
w^ith thine own mouth in this full court the hue and cry 
levied on such a day at such an hour as the bailiff surmiseth 
against thee, about a trespass which, as thou allegest, 
William thy neighbour did against thee, and thou canst not 
deny in this court that thou hast concealed this matter, 
[and appeased it amongst yourselves '^] ; wherefore this court 
awardeth that thou be in the lord's mercy for his damages, 
loss and shame which are taxed, and that thou do recover 
against William and his pledges in form of law. 

^ Note that all the attachments should be made by the 
bailiff and that in some cases they may be released by him 
and in other cases they may not, because no man sueth 
against the attached save the bailiff in respect of things done 
against the franchise of the lord. But when once there has 
been plaint and answer he can release nothing save by the 
consent of the parties and none may make compromise 
without the leave of the lord [or of the steward who is in 
the lord's stead] ; with such leave they may do it boldly. 



' Not in all MSS. version of this note in another 

^ We shall come upon a Latin treatise ; see below, p. 79. 



23 LA COURT DE BARON. 

Encoupemont de assise de pain e de cerueise.' 

[2] Sire seneschal, le baillif Eobert par noun que ci 
est se pleint de William le Mercer ^ que la est que atort e 
encountre le ordeinement e la general constitucion du 
reaume e encountre les estatuz le seignwr e sa franchise ^ ad 
enfreint lassise * de checun manere de ble puis la feste 
saynt Miche/, cest assauer desicum il ad vendu ^ le quarter 
de bon furment i^ur iij. s. e vj. d.^ a tuz les plus haut en 
touz marchez en ceo pays par unt que gastel de ferlinge 
dut passier xliij. s/ e le pain coket de même le ble e de 
même le bultel ^ plus que le gastel de v. s. e le pain siminel 
mains del gastel de ij. s. e le pain de enter fourment dut 
paiser un coket et demi, e uncore li surdreit purement de 
gain en checun qi^arter de furment sicu/7i il est proue par 
les pestours nostre seignz^r le rey iij. d.^ e le bran ^^ e deus 
pains al fournage e a iij. garcions iij. ob. e a un garçon un 
ferlinge e en sel ob.^^ e en bersil ^^ ob. e en chandele ferlinge 
en bûche iij. d. e lower de bolteres ^^ ob., dunt atort e en- 
countre le ordeinement e la general constitucion du reaume 
e les estatuz le seigniir e sa franchise ad il cest assise de 
pain enfraint, par quey le seignwr e ses bones genz en unt 
damage de c. s. et hunta^e de xl. s. Si conustre le voit,'* 
beu ly est, sil dédit, atort '^ le dédit, kar nous en aum sute 
bone e sufQsaimte. 

Tort e force e les damages le seignwr e ses bone gentz a 
la mountaunce de c. s. e le hunta^e de xl. s. e de checun 
denzer et de qwant qe ily mette sur e de qî^ant qe est en- 
countre le ordeinement e la générale constitucion du reaume 
e les estatuz le seignior e sa franchise defent William le 
Mercer qe ci est encountre le baillif Kobert par noun qe la 



' Will, le Mercer attachiatus pro assisa panis fracta, pleg' ad responden- 
dum A. et B. S by way of title. ' William le Messer E. Joan Pichard X. 
3 sa franche assise N. * Ins. de pain E. sim. CNX. ^ desicum 

home ad vendu iV. ^ Ins. e A. ' Ixiij. s. 0. xlij. b. S. * meyme 

le bolettes N. Mj. d. EX. >» en le bran X. " Here and 

elsewhere S has maille /or ob. '- en berkyl E. en geest X '* bolteals 
C. bolettes N. bollettes S. ^* C adds ut supra and lias no more of this 

sentence, '^ N adds etc. a7id /uis no more of this sentence. 



THE COURT BARON. 23 

Charge of breach of the assize of bread. 

[2] Sir steward, the baillif Robert by name, who is here, 
coniplaineth of WiUiam Mercer, who is there, that wrong- 
fully and against the ordinance and the general constitu- 
tion of the realm and against the statutes of the lord and 
his franchise, * he hath broken the assize of bread in all 
manner of grain since the feast of St. Michael, to wit, for 
that whereas the quarter of good wheat sold for 8 s. 6 d. at 
the utmost in all markets in this country, so that the 
farthing loaf of wastel-bread should weigh 43 s. ^ and the 
loaf of coket'bread of the same grain and the same bolting 
should weigh 5 s. more than the wastel, and the loaf of 
simnel-bread 2 s. less than the wastel, and the loaf of 
whole wheat should weigh one coket and a half, and still 
there would arise for the seller on every quarter of wheat, 
as is proved by the bakers of our lord the king, 3 d. pure 
gain besides the bran and two loaves for the baking and 
three half-pence for three lads and a farthing for another 
lad and a half-penny for salt and a half-penny for yeast 
and a farthing for candle and 3 d. for wood and a half- 
penny for wages of the bolters, ^ nevertheless wrongfully 
and against the ordinance and general constitution of the 
realm and the statutes of the lord and his franchise, he hath 
broken the assize of bread, whereby the lord and his good folk 
have damage to the amount of 100 s. and shame to the amount 
of 40 s. If confess he will, well and good ; if he denieth, 
wrongfully he denieth, for we have suit good and sufficient. 

Tort and force and the damages of the lord and of his 
good folk to the amount of 100 s. and the shame of 40 s . 
and every penny thereof and all that he surmiseth against 
him, and all that is against the ordinance and general con- 
stitution of the realm and the statutes of the lord and his 
franchise, defendeth AVilliam Mercer, who is here, against 

» Here and in similar passages mentioned in one of our MSS. It 

the MSS. often disagree as to will be remembered that shillings 

whether the proper phrase is ' his and pence were weights as well as 

franchise ' or ' his frank assize.' sums of money : indeed we still 

*• According to the commonest know the pennyweight, 
version of the Assize the weight ' See the assize of bread, Stat, of 

Bhould be 42 s. and this is the weight the Realm, i. 199. 



24 LA COURT DE BARON. 

est e encountrc sa sute, a quant que ily mette sur ; e bien 
vous mustre que il ad tute plainemeTit e lealement parfurni 
lassise solom la vente de marches ipuis la feste seint MicheZ 
iekes a cest houre ; e qe seit umte iprest sûmes de auerer 
par quant que ceste curt agarde que auerrer deuomes.^ 

E sil uoit especefier la maner cornent il ad parfourni 
lassise du pain, dunt p?/rra il dire ^ en teu maner ^ : — Tort 
e force etc. ut supra tut outre cwn auant. E la ou le 
baillif ly met sur qe le quarter de bon furme/it tuteuais pus 
lauantdit fest seint Miche? est vendu en checun marche 
pîir iij. s. vj. d. responoumes e dioms qe il nachata unkes 
de meyndre pris qe de iiij. s. vj. d. nul quarter de bon four- 
ment, par unt il ad tenu lassise de pain "^ solom ceste achate 
e bien e plainement '^ deit le pain de gastel de ferlinge paiser 
XXX. s. solom lassise establie, e le pain coket de même le 
ble e même le boltel plus que le gastel de iij.*^ s. e de ble de 
meyndre pris plus qe le gastel ^ de v. s., e le siminel mains 
del gastel de ij. s., e le pain de enter fourment plus de un 
coket e demi, e le pain de trait ^ de checun maner de ble 
paisera iij. cokes ; e que il ad leument e tute plainement 
parfourni lassise del pain solom cel vente establi, si mette 
il largement en la jurée de vile ; e uncore par my tute ceo 
que il ne poit auer de la gayn purement fors treis ob. en 
checun quarter e le bryn e un payn al furnage e j. d. a deus 
garcîons pur totes ces myses ^ e tuz ces trauailles si mette 
il en lauandite jure de bien e de mal communemerzt ^^ pur 
sey mesmes bien e leumewt esclariser.^^ 



' Ideo inquiratur S, lohich has no more of this plea. • Verdire N. 

^ Om. E sil voit ... en teu maner X. ^—^ bien e plainement car solom 

cel akat C. ^ iiij. N. ^ Om. qe le gastel X ** tret CX. treyt N. 

" deus seriaunz par totes services E. ij seriauntz pur totes ses myses C. 
'" Estops. " esclarsir C bien e nettement esclarcir iV. 



THE COURT BARON. 21 

the bailiff Eobert by name, who is there, and against his 
suit and all that he surmiseth against him ; and well he 
showeth thee that right fully and loyally hath he performed 
the assize according to market prices since the feast of St. 
Michael until this hour ; and that this is the truth we are 
ready to aver in such manner as this court shall award 
that aver we ought. 

And in case he will specify the manner' in tvhich he has 
performed the assize of bread, then may he say [the truth] * as 
follows : — Tort and force etc. {as above, making art utter 
defence, and then adding) and whereas the bailiff surmiseth 
against him that the quarter of good wheat ever after the 
aforesaid feast of St. Michael hath sold in every market for 
3s. 6 d. we answer and say, that no quarter of good 
wheat ever sold for less than 4 s. 6 d., wherefore he hath 
kept the assize of bread according to this price, and right 
and clear it is that the farthing loaf of wastel should weigh 
30 s. according to the established assize, and the coket loaf 
of like grain and like bolting 3 s. more than the wastel, and 
if it be of grain of less price, then 5 s. more than the 
wastel, and the simnel 2 s. less than the wastel, and the 
whole wheat loaf more by a coket and a half, and the loaf 
of trait of every manner of grain shall weigh three cokets ; 
and that he hath loyally and right fully performed the assize 
of bread according to this established rate, he putteth him- 
self at large on the jury of the vill ; and yet that for all this 
he could get by way of pure gain but three halfpence on 
each quarter besides the bran and one loaf for the baking 
and one penny for two lads, for all his costs and all his 
pains, he putteth himself on the aforesaid jury alike for 
good and ill, that these matters may be well and lawfully 
declared. 



» A special plea is often intro- vult dicere ' ; the defendant desires 
duced by the words ' Sed veritatem to make a confession of facts. 



25 LA COURT DE BAROÎS". 

Encopement de assise de serueys enfreynt.' 
[3] Sire seneschall, le baillif E. par noun que ci est 
se pleynt de Willame le Taillour ^ que la est, que il en- 
countre le ordeyneme?tt le seign2(r e sa franchise ^ ad 
enfreynt lasaise de ceruoyse"^ en checun bracyn que il fit 
bracer puis la feste seynt Miche/ dekes en sa, desicom le 
ordeynemewt e la constitucion le seign^^r e ^ sa fraunchise 
establie ne veut que nul ^ bracour ne nule braceresse de sur 
sa forfeture de de?/ii marc brace ceruoyse dou/it le gallon seit 
plus cher vendu que a maylle del seynt Miche/ dekes la 
Touz Seynz, si il ne seit si bone e si trye e si apertement 
brace par le assay e le discrecion des assayurs^ puisse 
couenablement estre vendue pur iij. ferlinges saunz checun 
chalange, dount meymes cely Willame atort e en despit le 
seigm^r e encountre lauandite establissement e saunz le 
assay e la discrecion des assayours ® par sa autorite demeyne 
ad vendu mauweyse wapye ^ tote veys puys la feste seynt 
Miche/, e la galon a iij. ferlinges en grant preiudice de la 
franchise ^^ le seign?ir qe est purueue e establie par unt que 
il ad encoru la forfeture le seignior de demi marc, e hunta^e 
de vj. s. etc.^^ 
Défense Tort e force ^^ e la forfeture le seignur de de77ii marc e 

le hnntage de vj. s. e de checu^i dener e quant que est en- 
countre le ordeynemewt le seignwr e sa franchise '^ estable 
pitrueue e grante e la vostre que auez la pees agarder e 
mayntenzr defend William que ci est encountre le baillif 
Robert par noun que la est e encountre sa sute e quant qe 
ily mette sur ; e bien vous mustre que il ad leument et tut 
pleynement parfurny le ordeynement e la constitucion le 
seigmtr e sa franchise ^'^ que est ipurueue e establie de sa 

^ Will. Cissor attachiatus est pro assisa servisie fracta, plegii ad respon- 
dendum C. et B. 6' by way of heading. ^ Tauerner N. ^ sa franche 
assise E. NOS sim. Ins. e la vostre ke avez la pes a garder e a main- 
tenir N. * servoj'se S. ^"^ la fraunche assise ad establie ke nul N. 
' si bone e si trie e si bien brace ke solum le discrecioun des assayors S. si 
trie e si bone e si atemprement brace par lassise e le assay E. ^~^ Om. CEN. 
® mauueyse wapie C sini.'N. mauueyse cerueyse wapye JS. S omits the ma- 
terial words of the charge. '" franchise assise N. •' Ins. si conustre 
le veut beau 1i est si il le dédit atort le dédit car etc. X '* Tort e non 
resoun S. " franche assise E. sim. N. fraunchise assise 0. '* franche 
assise E. sim. NS. fraunchise assise 0. 



THE COURT BARON. 25 

Charge of breach of the assize of beer. 

[3] Sir steward, the bailiff E[obert] by name, who is 
here, complaineth of William Tailor, who is there, that 
against the ordinance of the lord and his free assize * he 
hath broken the assize of beer in every brewing that he hath 
brewed since the feast of St. Michael until now, for the 
ordinance and constitution of the lord and his established 
franchise will that no brewer or breweress upon pain of 
forfeiture of a half-mark do brew beer whereof the gallon 
shall be dearer sold than at a halfpenny between Michael- 
mas and All Saints unless it be so good and approved and 
temperately brewed according to the assay and discretion 
of the ale-tasters that it may conveniently be sold for three 
farthings without complaint ; and the said William wrong- 
fully and in despite of the lord and contrary to the aforesaid 
establishment and without the assay and discretion of the 
tasters of his own authority hath sold bad beer ^ ever since 
Michaelmas, and this at three farthings for the gallon to 
the great prejudice of the free assize of the lord which is 
provided and established, so that he hath incurred the lord's 
forfeitui'e of a half-mark and done him shame to the 
amount of 6 s. etc. 

Tort and force and the forfeiture of a half-mark to the 
lord and the shame of 6 s. and every penny of it and all 
that is against the ordinance of the lord and his free assize 
established, provided and granted, and thine, who art 
charged to guard and maintain the peace, defendeth William, 
who is here, against the bailiff Kobert by name, who is there, 
and against his suit and all that he surmiseth against him ; 
and well he showeth thee that in the brewing of his beer he 
hath loyally and right fully performed the ordinance and 
constitution of the lord and his free assize which is provided 



• The MSS. in this and other a frank assize {libera assisa) : a 

places differ as to whether what is liberty is a special privilege, 
broken is the lord's franchise or his ^ In some MSS. the beer is 

frank assize. When the assize of said to be wapye, i.e. flat, Lat. 

beer is in private hands it is a fran- vapidus. See Roquefort b.v. icajric. 
chise {libertas) and so may be called 



26 LA COURT DE BARON. 

CéTuoyse brace ' ; e que il nad pas lassise enfreynt ne en 
mile maner encoru la forfeture le seignz^r ^ sicom le baillif 
Eobc^rt par nonn que ci est li mette sur, prest est de sey 
aquitcr en totes les maners que ceste curt agarde que aquiter 
se deit. 

Beus amy s Williame, fet le seneschall, ceste curt agar de 
que vous seiez a une lay oue vos^re sime ^ mayn ^ de vous 
aquyter que vous ne auez mye enfreynt lasstse de cernoyse 
en la maner com le baillif present uers vous ^ ad counte puys 
la feste seynt MicheL^ 

Encopement de pessun vendu/ 

[4] Sire seneschall le baillif que ci est K. par noun se pleint 
de Thomas le Pessouner ® que la est, que il encountre la 
fr-anchise le seigm^r e les establissemens de la vile et la 
vos^re que auez la franchise agarder e amayntenir, tut 
cest an checun iour ad vendu pessoun en pleyne marche a 
ses veysinis e as autres estranges genz e a tuz ^ com??iune- 
m.e7ii pessoun e harange puant e purri e en totes maneres 
corumpu, dont meynt hom?7ie et meynte femme en unt 
rescu maie damage et grant en fermeté de cors ipur la longe 
tenue ^^ qe il fit -pur celé marchandise cher vendre, par unt 
ke le seignz^r e ses bone genz en unt damage de xl. s. e 
hunta^e de xx. s. Si conustre ^^ etc. 
Defense Tort e force ^2 e la franchise le seignior e le establissement 

de la vile enfreynt e les damages le seignz^^r e ses bone genz 
de xl. s. e le hunta^e de xx. s. e de checan dener, defend 
Thomas que ci est encountre le baillif Eobert par noun que 
la est e encountere sa sute e qwant que ili mette sur ^^ e 
bien vous mustre ^^ ke unkes nul iour de marche de denz 
cest an pur nule manere longe détenue vendit a veysyn ne 
a autre hom??ie estrange harange ne pessoun forke de bone 

' bracer C. ^ Ins. de demy mark X. sim. E. ^ sisime S. vy^^ X. 
* Ins. a la procheine curt C. * bailif enpresence devant nous envers vous 
E. baillif jure ci en enpresent envers vous X. ® Add Sire volunters CN. 

'' vendu encountre franchise de la vile E. No heading X. Thomas Piscator 
attachiatus est quia vendidit pisces contra libertatem ville, plegg' de respon- 
dend' etc. S by way of heading. ^ Peschour CS. Pescheur X ^ e a 

tuz e a tutes C '" longe detenure C. sim N. " Ins. beau li est si il 

le dédit atort le dédit car A\ '- Tort e non resoun S. "-'* Om CENS. 



THE COURT BARON. 2G 

and established ; and that he hath not broken the assize or 
in any wise incurred a forfeiture to the lord as the bailiff 
Robert by name, who is there, surmiseth against him, he is 
ready to acquit himself in such wise as this court shall 
award that acquit himself he ought. 

Fair friend William (saith the steward), this court 
awardeth that thou be at a law six-handed to acquit thyself 
that thou hast not since the feast of St. Michael broken the 
assize of beer in such wise as the bailiff here present 
counteth against thee. 

Charge of selling fish [against the franchise of the vill."] 

[4] Sir steward, the bailiff, who is here, R[obert] by 
name, complaineth of Thomas Fisher, who is there, that 
against the franchise of the lord and the establishments of 
the vill and of thee, who art charged to guard and main- 
tain the franchise, all this year every day hath he sold fish 
in full market to his neighbours and to strangers, and to all 
alike fish and herring stinking and rotten and in all wise 
corrupt, whereby many a man and woman hath received ill 
damage and great sickness of body by reason that he held 
the fish a long time in order to sell it at a higher price, 
whereby the lord and his good folk have damage 40 s. and 
shame 20 s. If confess he will etc. 

Tort and force and any breach of the lord's franchise and 
of the establishment of the vill and the damages of the lord 
and of his good folk of 40 s . and the shame of 20 s . and 
every penny of it, defendeth Thomas, who is here, against 
the bailiff Robert by name, who is there, and against his 
suit and all that he surmiseth against him ; and well he 
showeth thee that never on any market day within this 
year by any manner of long keeping did he sell to 
neighbour or stranger herring or fish save of good salting 

» Not in all MSS. 



VOL. IV. D 



27 LA COURT DE BAEON. 

salysone e de beu sesun.^ A ceo que ily mette sur que 
meynt homme e meynte femme receustrent^ mal e damage 
e grant enfermete de cors pur la corupcion del harange e de 
pessoun que il ad,^ responoms e diomus que il est prest de 
sey aquyter en tote les maners que ceste curt agard que 
aquyter se deit. 

Beus amys Thomas ceste curt agard que vous seiez a une 
ley cue Yostie vij.'* meyn. 

Encopement de baterie ou de trespas fet a estranges genz.^ 

[5] Sire Beneschall^ Henry de Combe que ci est se pleynt ^ 
ke la ou il vint en la pees deu e en la pees le seignior son 
dreit cliemyn par my cest vile que est la surte ^ de vos^re 
f?'anchîse,® teu jour tel houre, en ^ an qe fu, la vint même 
cesti Esteuene le Charpenter e ly encountra en tel lu c^rteyn, 
e li assayli de vileynes paroules saunz desert, en tant que 
ly appella laron e deleaus, e quant que beu ly fut hors pris 
soulemewt son dreit noun, e luy dit que ily espiat de meson 
en meson e les priuez de la vile ^^ pur autre fiez venir nut- 
antre oue sa compaygne pur lur mesons debriser e lur biens 
enporter larcenouseme^it com laron e felonou sèment com 
felon ; cesti Henry ly respondist bonerement ^^ e dit que il 
fu bons e leaus en totes choses, e que il dit sa volunte ; 
mêmes cesti Esteuene se currut a iceus ^^ e saka son bastone 
de bus *^ hors de la meyn mêmes cesti Henry e ly dona 
trauers la teste e les épaules e les reynz e ailleurs par tout 
son cors ou beu ly fut e puis sen ala. Iceo trespas fit le 
auantdit Esteuene a tort e encountre reson e encountere la 
pees le seignztr e le vosfre que auez la pees agarder e amayn- 
tenir a ses damage's de xx. s. e huntage de demi marc, etc.''' 

^ peson si de bon seson noun e de bone saleyson X. ^ pristerent E. 

3 Ins. vendu CEN. Om. que il ad X. * syme E. sime N. sisime S. 

vj'"* X. * Encoupement de esclaundre N. No heading X. Cest 

de trespas S. ^ Ins. de Esteuene le Carpenter ke la est C. sim. X. 

' la sourse E. ky est en la seurte N. ^ Om. que est. . . franchise S. 

^ ou CE. *" les secrez de la vil e la privitez C. les secrez e les privetyz des 
bons gens de la vile E. les estres e les privetez N. les estrez de la vile e les 
privetez 0. les privetez de bone gent de la vile S. " deboneirement X. 

^'^ se coru sa aiteles C. se coroucha a i teles A'', sey corousa a celés O. e 
encore ne lessa mie aitelez X. '^ houz E. huz CNO. holin S. 

^* X adds tJie usual conchidlng formula. 



THE COURT BARON. 27 

and in good season ; and as to what he saith that many a 
man and woman hath taken ill and damage and great 
sickness of body by reason of the corruption of the herring 
and fish that he hath sold, w^e answer and say that he is 
ready to acquit himself in all such wise as this court shall 
aw'ard that acquit himself he ought. 

Fair friend Thomas, this court awardeth that thou be 
at a law six-handed. 

Charge of battery or trespass done to strangers. 

[5] Sir steward, Henry of Combe, who is here, com- 
plaineth of Stephen Carpenter, who is there, that as he was 
going his right way in the peace of God and in the peace of 
the lord through this vill which is within the surety of thy 
franchise, at such an hour on such a day in the last year, 
there came this Stephen Carpenter and encountered him 
in such a place {naming it), and assailed him with villain 
words which were undeserved, insomuch that he called him 
thief and lawless man and whatever other names seemed 
good to him except only his right name, and told him that 
he was spying from house to house the secrets of the 
good folk of the vill in order that he might come another 
time by night with his fellows to break their houses and 
carry off their goods larcenously as a larcener and feloni- 
ously as a felon ; whereupon this Henry answered him 
civilly and said that he was good and lawful in all things 
and that he [Stephen] was talking at random ; where- 
upon the said Stephen was enraged at this and snatched 
his staff of holly out of his hand and gave it him about 
his head and across his shoulders and his loins and 
elsewhere all over his body as he thought fit and then 
went off. This trespass did the said Stephen wrongfully 
and against reason and against the peace of the lord and 
of thee, who art charged to guard and maintain the 
peace, to his damage 20 s. and shame a half-mark etc. 



D 2 



28 LA COURT DE BARON. 

Defense Tort 6 forcG ^ 6 qiiaïit que est encountre la pees deu e ^ 

la pees le seign?^r e la vos^re que auez la pees a garder e 
mayntenir e les damages le seigm^r ^ de xx. s. e huntage de 
demi marc e de checu?^ dener, defend Esteuene que ci esf* 
e totes maners de felonyes e totes maners de vileynes 
paroules encountre Henri/ de Cumbe que la est e encountre 
sa sute e quant que ili mette sur, que unkes laron ne ly 
appella ne vileyne paroule ne ly dit ne vileyne esclaundre 
ne ly sur mist ^ ne de bastone de bus ^ ne de autre bastone 
ly ferrist entreuers la teste ne les espaules ne les reinz, ne 
en nul lu de cors sicom ily mette sur ; e que ceo seit veirs, 
prest est de sey aquyter en totes les maners que ceste curt 
agard que aquyter se deit. 

Beus amy s Esteuene, ceste curt agarde que vus seiez a 
une lay ^ etc. 



* XJneore de trespas. 

[6] Willame de C. ki ci est se pleint de Adaw Emarc ^ ke la 
est ke il en la pes deu e en la pes le seignior e la vostre ke 
auez la pes agarder e amaintenir, teu iour a tel hure cest 
an ke fu vint insemblemer^t oue ses ij. fiz A. et B. par nons 
oue grant noise en la meson de N. encontre son gre e sa 
bone volonté entrèrent e li assailire?it de vileyne paroles en 
tant com le apelerewt laron e deleaus e puis defet ataTît ^^ 
com il li survindrent des espeyes tretes e felonesseme/it li 
naufrurent en la teste e aillurs en cors ou beau lur fu e 
ouekece maleme^it le bâtirent e treitere/rt encontre la pes le 
seigmir e la vostre ke auez la pees agarder e amaintenir a 
son damage de vij. mark ^^ e huntage de demy marc. Si con- 
oistre le veut beau li est, si il le dédit atort le dédit, car etc. 

' Tort e non resoun S. ^ Om. la pees deu e C. ^ e ses damages 

XS. e les damages H. E. Om. le seignur CN. * According to S and 

X Stephen prays a love-day and this is granted. In E there is no denial of 
felony. ^ esclaundre ly surmist C. esclaundre sur ly myst E. 

* de hus C. de houz E. de huz N. ' Ins. od vostre syme meyn a la 
procheyn court de vous aquiter. Sire volunters E. « This case 
is given only by S and X. Our text is from X ; the heading from S. ; X gives 
no heading. * Om. Emarc S. '" en tant S. " j. marc S. 



THE COUET BARON. 28 

Tort and force and all that is against the peace of God 
and the peace of the lord and of thee, who art charged to 
guard and maintain the peace, and his [Henry's] damages 
of 20 s. and shame of a half-mark and every penny of it, 
defendeth Stephen, who is here, and all manner of [felonies 
and all manner of*] villain words against Henry of Combe, 
who is there, and against his suit and all that he surmiseth 
against him, that never he called him thief nor gave 
him villain word, nor surmised villain slander against him, 
nor with staff of holly nor other staff beat him across the 
head or shoulders or loins or any part of his body as he 
surmiseth ; and that this is true, he is ready to acquit him- 
self in all such wise as this court shall award that acquît 
himself he ought. 

Fair friend Stephen, this court awardeth that thou be at 
a law [six-handed at the next court to acquit thyself. 

Willingly, sir.''] 

Another case of trespass. 

[6] William of C, who is here, complaineth of Adam 
Emark, who is there, that in the peace of God and the 
peace of the lord and thine, who art charged to guard and 
maintain the peace, on such a day at such an hour this 
year that was, came [Adam] with his two sons A. and B. by 
name with great noise to the house of N. and against his 
will and wish entered and assailed him with villain words 
in so much that they called him thief and lawless man and 
afterwards assailed him in deed and fell on him with drawn 
swords and feloniously wounded him in the head and else- 
where in his body where they pleased and therewithal beat 
him badly and illtreated him against the peace of the lord 
and thine, who art charged to guard and maintain the 
peace, to his damage of one mark and shame of a half- 
mark. If confess he will, well and good : if he denieth, 
wrongfully he denieth, for etc. 

" Not in all MSS. There has unless indeed he had exceptional 

been no charge of felony. Had franchises. 

there been such, the lord's court ^ Not in all MSS. Some of them 

would not have been competent, suppose that a love-day is given. 



29 LA COURT DE BARON. 

Tort e force ' e la pes deu e la pes le seignur e le 
seneschal enfreinte e son damage de j. mark e huntage de 
demy marc e de chescun dener defent A. ki ci est ancontre 
V. ke la est e ancontre sa seute pitr ly e i>ur ses ij. fiz A. e B. par 
nons, e ke unkes sa meson ne entrèrent encontre son gre 
ne sa bone volante ne de vileyne paroles ne assaillirent ne 
unkes cop ne colee ^ de espee ne de baston ne de autre arme ne 
ly doueront sicom il vers li ^ conte e de ce est il prest a fere 
par quant ke ceste curt agar de ke fere deit. 

E donkes deit dire le seneschal, Beaus amys ceste curt 
agarde ke vus soiez a une ley oue vostre sisime main. 

^ Sire volanters. Plegg<?s.'^ 



"Uncore de trespas. 

[7] Wauter Underwode ke ci est si pleint de Willame 
le Clerc ke la est ke il en la pes deu e la pes le seignz^r e la 
vostre ke auez la pees a maintenir vint a teu iour a tel hure 
cest an ke fu en my la vile de C. nomeme/it en un liu certein 
ke est apele B. oue un baston de holi^ en sa main destre e 
li assaillit de vileine paroles entant ke il le apela larron e 
deleaus e puis defet entant ke il de meymes le baston de 
holy ^ le ferit en my la greue de la teste e li fist une playe 
de la leise^ de iiij. pouz e la longî^re de v. pouz a son 
damage de demy marc et huntage de iiij. soz. Si conoistre 
le veut etc.^^ 

Tort e non reson ^' e la pes deu e la pes le seignitr e le 
seneschal enfreinte e ses damages de demy mark e le 
huntage de iiij. s. e de chescun dener defent V. ke cy est 
encontre Wauter Underwode ke la est e ancountre sa seute 
e py-est est ke il le défende par qi^ant ke ceste curt agarde 
ke défendre le deyue e ke unkes celé playe en my la greue 
de la teste ne ly dona sicom il ad vers li cunte. 

E donkes dit se seneschal, Amy agagez li une ley. 

Sire volantirs. 

' Tort e nonresoun S. ^ color S. ^ vous S. *-^ Ont. S. 

" This case is given by S and X ; our text is from X ; the heading from S ; 
X gives no heading. ' holin S. « holin S. ^ leure S. 

'" S continues the usual formula. " Tort e force S. 



THE COURT BAKOX. 29 

Tort and force and any breach of the peace of God and 
the peace of the lord and the steward and his damage of 
one mark and shame of a half- mark, defendeth Adam, who 
is here, against William, who is there, and against his suit 
for himself and for his two sons A. and B. by name, that 
never did they enter his house against his will or wish nor 
assail him with villain words nor give him stroke or blow 
with sword or staff or other arm as he hath counted against 
him ; and [as proof] of this he is willing to do whatever 
this court shall award that do he ought. 

Fair friend (shall the steward then say), this court 
awardeth that thou be at a law six-handed. 

Willingly, sir. Pledges etc. 

Another case of trespass. 

[7] W^alter Underwood, who is here, comj)laineth of 
William the Clerk, who is there, that in the peace of God 
and the peace of the lord and of thee, who art charged to 
maintain the peace, he came on such a day at such an hour 
this year that was into the vill of C. to wit to a certain 
place called B. with a staff of holly in his right hand, and 
assailed him with villain words insomuch that he called 
him thief and lawless man and afterwards assailed him in 
deed insomuch that with the said staff of holly he struck 
him on the crown of his head and gave him a wound four 
inches wide and five inches long, to his damage of a half- 
mark and shame of 4 s. If confess he will etc. 

Tort and unreason and any breach of the peace of God 
and the peace of the lord and the steward and his damages 
of a half-mark and shame of 4 s. and every penny thereof, 
defendeth William, who is here, against Walter Underwood, 
who is there, and against his suit, and ready is he to 
defend it in such wise as this court shall award that defend 
he ought, and that never did he give him this wound on the 
crown of his head as he hath counted against him. 

Friend (shall the steward then say), wage him a law. 

Willingly, sir. 



30 LA COURT DE BARON. 

[' Encopement de trespas fet al baillif.] 

[8] Sire seneschal , le baillif iure ke cy est R. par non se 
pleint de Johan le Taillur ke la est, ke la ou il vint teu 
iour a tel hure cest an ke fu en la pees deu e ^ en la pes le 
seign?(r a la meson meyme celi J. a une detresce fere par 
votre comandement 'pur ce ke il sorsist ij. communes 
somonses de venir a la curt le seignur, la vint meyme celi ^ 
e li assailli de mauese paroles e vileynes en tant com il 
dist ' Yiis concelez e murdrez les attachemenz '* dont preu 
e gain sordreit au ^ seignur a ^ volante demeyne, e yus 
corez^ a mal tant com yus poez a tort e a nonreson,' e 
encore ne sessa il mye a tant ke il entra sa chambre e 
pn'st un arc de yf en sa main sanz corde e durement 
pt^rsuy le baillif pur li batre ; le baillif pur sa folie eschy wre 
sen fuit tantost dedenz la curt e se tint tot clos ; icest tres- 
pas li fist meyme cesti J. e ceste vilaynie e esclandre li 
surmist en le despit le seignur e encontre sa pees e la 
vostre ke auez la pes agarder e amaintenir, e a son damage 
de XX. s. e le huntage de demy mark. Si conoistre le veut, 
beau li est etc. 

Tort e nonreson e la pes deu e la pes le seigmtr enfreinte 
e la vostre ke auez la pees agarder e amaintenir e q^^ant ke 
en est fet en le despit le seignur e la vostre e les damages 
le baillif e le hontage de demy marc e de checun dener, 
defent J. ke ci est e tote vileine esclandres encontre le baillif 
iure E. par non ke la est e ancontre sa seute e qi^ant ke il 
li mette sure, ke unke vileyne ne li dist ne esclandre li 
surmist ne de baston ou de arc le suit ptir vilaynie ou pi^r 
batre si com il dit ; e ke ce soit u^rite prest est de sey 
aquiter en tote les manires ke ceste curt agarde ke aqmter 
se deit. 

E donke dit le seneschal Beaus amys J. ceste curt 
agarde ke vus li gagez une ley. 

Sirre volanters. Vlegges. 

* This case is given by S and X ; our text is from X ; the heading loe 
supply ; X gives none ; S has by way of heading Johannes Cissor attachiatus 
est quia contulit ballivis verba contumeliosa, plegg' ad respondendum etc. 
2 Om. en la pees deu e S. ^ celui J. S. * entachemenz S. 

* a oes le S. * Ins, vostre S. ■ e vous mis correz S. 



THE COURT BARON. 30 

[Charge of trespass done against the bailiff.] 
[8] Sir steward, the sworn bailiff E[obert] by name, who 
is iisre, complaineth of John Tailor, who is there, that as he 
came on such a day at such an hour this year that was in 
the peace of God and the peace of the lord to the house of 
the said J[ohn] by thy commandment to make a distress 
for that he [John] had neglected two general summonses to 
come to the lord's court, there came this [John] and 
assailed him with bad and villain words, insomuch that he 
said * Thou of thy own will concealest and murderest the 
attachments whence gain and profit might accrue to the 
lord and thou dost persecute us as much as thou canst in 
tort and unreason,' and still he ceased not insomuch that 
he entered his room and took a bow of yew in his hands 
which was unstrung and pursued the bailiff to beat him, 
and the bailiff seeing his rage escaped and fled into the 
[lord's] court and kept himself close. This trespass did to 
him the said J[ohn] and surmised against him this villainy 
and slander in despite of the lord and against his peace and 
thine, who art charged to guard and maintain the peace, 
and to his damage of 20 s. and shame of a half-mark. If 
confess he will, well and good etc. 

Tort and mireason and any breach of the peace of God 
and the peace of the lord and of thee, who art charged to 
guard and maintain the peace, and all that is done in 
despite of the lord and of thee, and the damages of the 
bailiff and the shame of a half-mark and every penny 
thereof, defendeth J[ohn], who is here, and all villain 
slanders against the sworn bailiff E[obert] by name, who is 
there, and against his suit and all that he surmiseth against 
him, and that never he said villainy nor surmised slander 
against him, nor pursued him with staff or bow for any 
villain purpose or battery, as he [Kobert] saith ; and that 
this is true he is ready to acquit himself in all such wise as 
this court shall award that acquit himself he ought. 

Fair friend J[ohn] (shall the steward then say), this 
court awardeth that thou do wage him a law. 

Willingly, sir. Pledges etc. 



SI LA COUBT DE BARON. 

' Encopement de trespas e de close debrise. 

[9] Willame de C. ke cy est se pleint de A. B. C. e D. 
ke la sont, ke il en la pes deu e la pes le seignz^r e la vostre 
ke auez la pes agarder e amaintenir, vindrent teu iour a tel 
ure en tel an a force e as armes en sa terre en C. nomeement 
en le champ de meyme la vile e ses blez cressanz sierent e 
amporterent e ses pomers e autres arbres coupèrent e ses 
mesons abatire^it^ e plusors autres damages li firent e 
huntages al amuntance de xl. s. Si reconoistre le volent 
beau li est si il le dédient a tort le dédient, car nus en 
auom suite bone e suffisante. 

Tort e non reson e le huntage e damage» de xl. s. e 
de chescoin dener e les armes e quant ke est ancontre la 
pes le seignur e le vostre ke auez la pes agarder e a main- 
tenir tot outre défont A. B. C. e D. ^ e les auant nomez ^ ke 
ci sont encontre G.^ ke la est e ancontre sa seute, e 
prest sont ke il se defendont par quant ke ceste curt 
agar de ke défendre se deyuent ke unkes en sa terre en C. 
ne entrèrent a force ne as armes ne ses blez en terre 
cressanz sierent ne ses arbres découpèrent ne ses mesons 
atrauantrerunt ^ sicoin il ad vers eus cunte. 

E donke dit le seneschal, Beaus amys^ ceste curfc 
agarde ke chescun de vns soit a sa ley encontre V.^ de C. 
oue sa xij™® main. 

Sire volantirs. 

^ Plegges de la ley. 



Quant bracor ou braceresse deneye vendre cervoyse a 
son seignuT.'" 

[10] Sire seneschall, le baillif K. par noun qui ci est se pleint 
de Elys de la Founteyne qui la est que il atort e en despit 
le seignur ly deneya de vend?'e ceruoyse al oes le seignur 

' This case is given by S and X ; our text is from X ; we supply a 
heading. 2 aggrauanterent S. ^-* Om. S. * W. S. 

" aggrauanterent S. ^ Biaus seingnors S. « W. S. ' Om. this 

clause S. '" Elyas de Fonte attachiatus est ad respondendum eo quod 

vetuit vendere servisiam domino. S by way of heading. 



THE COURT BARON. 81 

[Charge of trespass and breach of close.] 

[9] William of C, who is here, complaineth of A. B. C. 
and D., who are there, that in the peace of God and the 
peace of the lord and of thee, who art charged to guard and 
maintain the peace, they came on such a day at such an 
hour in such a year with force and arms to his land in C, 
to wit, in the field of the said vill and cut and carried off 
the grass there growing, cut his apple and other trees and 
beat down his houses and divers other damages and shames 
did to him to the amount of 40 s. If confess they will, 
well and good ; if they deny, wrongfully they deny, for we 
have suit good and sufficient. 

Tort and unreason and the shame and damages of 40 s. 
and every penny thereof and the arms and all that is 
against the peace of the lord and of thee, who art charged 
to guard and maintain the peace, defend outright the afore- 
named A. B. C. and D., who are here, against Wplliam], 
who is there, and against his suit, and ready are they to 
defend themselves in such wise as this court shall award that 
defend themselves they ought, that never in his land of C. 
they entered by force nor with arms nor cut his grass 
growing on the land nor cut down his trees nor overturned 
his houses as he hath counted against them. 

Fair friends (shall the steward then say), this court 
doth award that each of you be at his law against W[illiam] 
of C. twelve-handed. 

Willingly, sir. 

Pledges for the law are etc. 

When brewer or breweress refuseth to sell beer to the lord. 

[10] Sir steward, the bailiff K[obert] by name, who is 
here, complaineth of Ellis Atte Well, who is there, that 
wrongfully and to the lord's despite he refused to sell beer 
to the use of the lord on such a day at such an hour in the 



32 LA COUET DE BARON. 

teu jour tel hore ou an que fu, desicom il auoyt en sa 
bracine ^ nouele cerwjse e estale a ses veysines e as estranges 
genz a lauantdite journée vendi ; e "pur ceo a tort que ily 
pria honerement e ententiuement pur lamour son seignur qe 
ily vendit de sa c^ruoyse pur meyntenant e prestement ^ sa 
paye receyuere solom lassise que est purueu e establie, mes 
cely Elys par pnere ne "pur amonestement ne unkore pur 
meyntenant e prestement sa paye receyuere no voleit re- 
conostre que il auoyt ceruoyse auendre nouele ne estale 
celement ou apertement pur doner ou vendre a seigm^r 
ou a nul de seons par unt ke le seignur ne voleit a celé jorne 
auer eu le damage pur xl. s. ne le huntage pur xx. s. pi^r^ 
estranges que illukes furent asembles. Si conustre etc.^ 
Defense Tort 6 force ^ e les damages le seignur de xl. s. e le 

huntage de xx. s. e de checun dener e quant que est en 
despit le seignur, defend Elys que ci est encountre le 
baillif iurre E. par nou7i que la est e encountre sa sute 
e q?/ant que ily mette sur ; ^ e bien vous mustre que a tel 
jour que le baillif ly mette sur ne a tel houre^ ne unkore 
denz les iiij. iours après ne fu nule manere de ceruoyse en 
son poer nouele ne estale de denz tonel ne de hors pur 
doner ne pur vendre ley que ly oust done x. s.® De autre 
part, sire, a ceo ke ily mette sur que il vendi même le iour 
ceruoyse nouele e estale a ses veysinis e as estranges genz 
celemewt e en apert, responoms e dioms tut pleynemer^t que 
il dit son talent, e vous offre un bessaunt de or par issint 
que leument seit enquys de ces bone genz ^ de la vile e si 
vous trouez par bone enqueste^^ de bone gent de la vile que 
il out ceruoyse a celé houre ne unkore de denz les quatre 
iours après suant en nule houre des aua?itditez j ornez 
ceruoyse nouele ou estale pur doner ou vendre, il ceo ^^ 

• en sa meyson CN. ^ présentement E. ^ Ins. les ECN. 

* S X say nothing of the strangers; X gives more of the concludifig 
formula. ^ Tort e non resoun S. ^~' Oni. N. 

** vendre ky ke ly eust done x. mars de or molu C. vendre que ly ust 
donee x. mars de or molu E. vendre ke ly est done x. mars O. vendre quil 
li eust done mil mars dors S. vendre ky li eust done myl mars de or X. 
Upon this follows in S {sim. X) e nous vos offre sire j. besaunt dor par issi 
que ce soit enquis ententivement par les bones gentz de la vile. Et ideo 
inquiratur, and here ends the case. ^ de ses veysins e de bons gens C 

'" par examinacioun E. "il se C. il sey E. 



THE COURT BARON. 32 

year that was, whereas on the said day he had in his 
brewery sold beer new and old to his neighbours and to 
strangers ; and wrongfully for this reason, that he [Eobert] 
prayed him debonairely and earnestly for the love of his 
lord that he would sell him of his beer in return for present 
and ready payment according to the assize which is 
provided and established ; but this Ellis neither for prayer 
nor for admonishment nor yet for present and ready pay- 
ment would confess that he had beer for sale, new or old, in 
secret or in public, for gift or sale to his lord or any of his 
folk, to the lord's damage and shame such that he would 
not willingly have suffered this damage for 40 s. or the 
shame for 20 s. by reason of the strangers that were there 
assembled. If confess etc. 

Tort and force and the damage of the lord of 40 s. and 
the shame of 20 s. and every penny thereof and all that is 
in the lord's despite, defendeth Ellis, who is here, against the 
sworn bailiff K[obert] by name, who is there, and against his 
suit and all that he surmiseth against him ; and well he 
showeth thee that on that day which the bailiff surmiseth 
nor at that hour nor within four days afterwards was any 
manner of beer, new or old, within his power, in barrel or 
out, to give or to sell even had one given him ten shillings.^ 
Again, sir, as to what he surmiseth, that on the same day 
he sold beer, new and old, to his neighbours and to strangers, 
privately and publicly, we answer and say right fully that 
he talketh idly, and we offer thee a besant of gold that 
lawfully it may be inquired of these good folk of the vill, 
and if thou findest by good inquest of good folk of the vill 
that he had beer at that hour or within four days after- 
wards, at any hour of the said days, beer new or old, to 



» Some MSS. mention far more extravagant sums, e.g. a thousand 
marks of gold. 



83 LA COURT DE BARON. 

oblige en totes ces biens moblez e nent mobles ' a fere 
qî^ant que vous vent a pleyser.^ 
Ideo inquiratur. 

De tenue emporte du molin le seignur.' 

[11] Sire Beneschall, Eobert par nouw'* que ci est se pleynt 
de Wiilame le hnnge que la est, que la ou il vint teu jour 
tel hour^ ou an au molyn le seignior en W. ^ 'pur son ble 
moudre nomement un quarter de furment e un quarter de 
segle, e la vint le mouner e bonerement resceust son ble e 
leumewt e bien e nettement le molust, quant ily oust en tele 
manere molu e purement mys en sakes, mêmes cesti 
Willame se p^/^rpensa de une maweyse sutilite e de un 
felonesse coyntise ^ noun pas couenable e celement requilist 
les sakes deuer ^ luy e as chiuaus les endossa ® e priuement 
saunz molture e tonue doner, sicom fere dust solom le 
usage e la custome du pays, sen ala ; iceo ^ tresjDas illukes 
fit e tel tonue e m?dture enporta en grant preiudice le 
seignwr e son despit par unt que le seignur en ad damage de 
de?^i marc e hunta^e de iiij. s. etc. ^^ 
Defense Tort c force ^^ e qî^ant que est en preiudice le seign^^r e en 

son despit e encountre le usage du pays e les damages le 
seignî^r de demi marc e hunta^e de iiij. s. e de checun 
dener, defend W. que ci est encountre le baillifï K. par noun 
que la est e encountre sa sute e quant que ily mette sur, 
que unkes teu jour ne tele houre '^par maweyse coyntise, ^^ 
felonesse sutilite '"^ al molyn le seignur ne a nul autre molyn 
celement sen ala issi cest asauer qe il ne paya midture e 
tonue solom le usage de ceo pays, e que ceo seit vérité prest 
est a fere qi^ant que ceste curt agarde que fere deit. 

' Om. e nent mobles E. ^ kaunt ke vous vient apleysir C. Add 

e puis seyt enquis N. ' No headi7ig X ; Willelmus Longus attachiatus 

pro tollom' de molendino domini S by way of heading. * le baillif iure SX. 
^ en B. C. en N. N. " quoyntyse C. quentyse E. quontise N. qwontise O. 
' ver E. ** X {sim. S) gives what precedes more briefly thus —quant 

son ble fu molu e en saks mys mêmes celi G. celement les saks colli e 
as chiuaus endossa. ^ e ceo C. '" parunke ke le seignur ne 

voleyt aver eu le damage pur demy marc nel huntage pur iiij. s. Si conustre le 
veut beaus nous est si il le dedist etc. N. S gives concluding formula iyi full. 
" Tort e nonreson X sim. S. '^~~'^ O711. SX. '^ mauueyse quoyntise e 
felnouse sotilte C. mauueyse queytise ne felonesse sotiltee E. 



THE COURT BARON. 33 

give or sell, he obligeth himself in all his goods moveable 
and immoveable to do whatever thou seest fit. 
Therefore be this inquired. 

Of toll subtracted from the lord's mill. 

[11] Sir steward, the sworn bailiff Eobert by name, who 
is here, complaineth of William Long, who is there, that as 
he came on such a day at such an hour in such a year to 
the mill of the lord in W. to grind his corn, to wit, a quarter 
of wheat and a quarter of rye, the miller came and debo- 
nairely received his corn and well and lawfully and skil- 
fully ground it and had put the corn in sacks, whereupon 
this William bethought himself of an evil trick and a 
felonious device not permissible, and privily collected the 
sacks before him and put them on horses' backs and privily 
made off without giving multure and toll as he ought to 
have done according to the custom of the country. This 
trespass did he there and this toll and multure he carried 
off to the great prejudice of the lord and to his despite so 
that the lord hath damage of a half-mark and the shame of 
4 s. etc. 

Tort and force and all that is to the prejudice of the 
lord and in his despite and against the usage of the country 
and the lord's damages of a half-mark and shame of 4 s. and 
every penny thereof, defendeth W[illiam], who is here, 
against the bailiff K[obert] by name, who is there, and 
against his suit and all that he surmiseth against him, that 
never on such a day and hour by evil device and felonious 
trick did he go privily from the lord's mill or any other 
mill in such wise that he paid no multure or toll according 
to the usage of this country ; and [to prove] that this is the 
truth he is ready to do whatever this court shall award that 
do he ought. 



34 LA COURT DE BARON. 

^ E VOUS Willame seiez a une lay oue vos^re sime mayn a 
la procheyne curt. ^ 

De chace fete ou beste prise en le parkc le seignur. ^ 

[12] Sire seneschall, le parker "^ que ci est Johan -par noun se 
pleynt de G. ^ de la More, que la ou il vint teu iour tel houre 
cest an que ore est en le pai^ke le seignî^r de E. ^ pur quere 
un poleyn que le seignwr out par sa lettere demande, la 
vint même cely G. e Johan son venour oue ly que amena 
en sa mayn deus leueres as arkes e as setes, e alerent 
amount e aual espiaunt ceo que il desirreynt smer; le 
parker que ci est Johan par noun aperceust que il attere- 
runt ^ lur arkes e lur setes detrere ^ e lur chiens en dreite 
manere pur bien coure, se retitrna uers la vile de E. ^ e 
encountra deus hom77ies de la vile A. et B. par nouns si les 
amena oue ly arere en la parke en un certeyn lu qe est 
appelle H. pur testmoner lur veue e lour oyit e si tost com 
il furent entrez en le parke e en lu auantdit si virent il bien 
e oyerent les auantdiz G. e Johan chasaunt e pursuant de 
lur leuereres un deym, ^^ que même cesti G. de une sete 
barbie longe e ^^ que ci est en present le berra ^^ tut outre par 
my les flaunkes dount sa playe fut apparaunce de une part 
e de aut?'e, e enpur suant cel deym de lur leuereres le 
p7'isterent e escorcerent e puis le aporterent en une sikette ^^ 
e la le mousterent ^^ e des branches de suboys le couererent e 
de illukes priuement sen alerunt e hors de parke sen 
isserent ; qnant il furent issuz les comensa a resoner, e dit 
— * Beus amy s G. vous auez mult grant folie fet ore e par 
mêmes ^^ en ceo parke e par auenture plus souent ' : — ely *^ ne 
respondit taunt ne qnant, e le parker retitrna e prist oue ly 

'-2 E donkes dit le seneschal, Beaus amys ceste curt agarde ke vous li 
agagez une ley. Sire volunters. Plegges de la ley. X [sim. S). ^ Encoupe- 
ment de veneison en parke occis. N. Galfridus de More atachiatus est quia 
venavit in parco domini cum canibus. S. No heading X. ^ le parker 

iuree EN. le baillif iure XS. ^ Geoffrey E. Geoffrei N. " N i^. C /S. 
' attirerunt C. « de trere CN. ^ de N iV. Om. deE. C. '« Ins. si 
près C. sim. N. " une sete barbie longe e lee C. une sette barbée lunge 

e lee E. une sete barbelée longe e lee N. ''^ bersa C. percha N. brisa O. 
'=* sykette C. syket E. sikette A^. '"' mistrent CEN. '^ aparmemes E. 
"^ e il CEN. 



THE COURT BARON. 34 

William, be thou at thy law six-handed at the next 
court. 



Of chasing or taking beasts in the lord's park. 

[12] Sir steward, the [sworn] parker, who is here, John 
by name, complaineth of Geoffrey of the Moor, that whereas 
he went on such a day at such an hour this year that is in 
the lord's park of E. to seek a foal which the lord had 
asked for by letter, came this Geoffrey and John his hunts- 
man with him, who led in his hand two greyhounds with 
bows and arrows, and they went up hill down dale 
spying what they would have; and the parker John by 
name, who is here, perceived that they made ready their 
bows and arrows and held their hounds in readiness for a 
run, and he returned to the vill of E. and met two men of 
the vill A. and B. by name, and he took them with him 
back to the park to a certain place called H. to testify what 
they should see and hear ; and so soon as they had entered 
the park and in the place aforesaid they saw well and heard 
the said G[eoffrey] and John chasing and pursuing with 
their dogs a buck, which the said G[eoffrey] with an arrow, 
barbed, long and broad, which is here, shot right through 
the flanks so that the wound might be seen on one side and 
the other, and they pursued the buck with their hounds 
and took and skinned it, and afterwards they carried it to a 
ditch and there they hid it and covered it with branches of 
underwood, and thence they went away privily and went 
out of the park ; when the}^ were outside then he [the 
parker] began to reason with them, and said ' Fair friend 
G[eoffrey], seemingly thou hast committed a right great 
folly in this park and peradventure thou hast done it more 
than once,' and he answered neither this nor that ; and the 
parker returned and took with him the buck and looked for 



VOL. IV. E 



35 LA COURT DE BARON. 

cel deym la sete quite e la troua,^ le deym a son seignt^r 
présenta e tut le fet ly renouela ; dount atort e encountre 
reson ^ en gisant p^^iudice le seignur e son despit entra il 
encountre la f/"anehise que il ad de par nostre seigm^r le rey 
de illukes auer son parke corne propre warrenne com en sa 
chartre est contenu que il ad du rey, que defend sur sa 
greue forfeture de x. libr.^ que nuli entre ^ de chacer ou de 
beste prendre si noun a la volu?ite se^ seignttr, dount atort e 
a damage le seigm^r de xx. s. ientra ^ e a hunta^e de x. s. 
Si conustre etc.'^ 
Defense Xort e force ^ e q^^ant que est encountre la forfeture le 

rey e ^ preiudice le seignur e en son despit e encountre sa 
f?-anchise e ses damages de xx. s. e hunta^e de x. s. e de 
checnn àener^ defend G. qe ci est encountre le parker Johan 
par noun que la est e encountre sa sute e quant que ily 
mette sur, e bien vous mustre que unkes le parke le seignnr 
celement oue chiens ne as arkes ne a setes entra ne deym 
ne deyme ne autre beste de sette barbie ou galosche^^ ne 
bersa^^ ne escorcha ne en sikette ne aillurs ne mussa. '^ 

^^ Beus amys G., fet le seneschall, ne avowez vous mye 
ceste sette ; ieo quide ^'^ que ele fu de Yostre mayn trete. 

Sire, jeo le desauoue tut outre ke unkes par ma mayn 
îsist de jour ne de nuyt. 

G. ^^ coment volez vous aquyter de ceo grant trespas. 

Sire en totes les maneres que ceste curt agarde que 
aquyter me deuoreye. 

G. ^^ ceste curt agard que vous seiez a une lay ove vosfre 
xij.^^ mayn a la procheyne curt etc^® 



• e prist celé daume la sete quist e la troua N. celé bisse et quyst le sette 
e la trouva E. ^ Ins. e encontre la pees deu N. ^ xl. li. O. 

* que nul humme ny entre E. ke nul home y entre N. ^ le CN. 

" il entra E. '^ X {sim. S) gives a ^nuch shorter version of this count, 

omitting all about the witnesses and the interview with the trespassers. It 
{sim. CENS) lays the lord's shame at 100 shillings. * Tort e non 

resoun S. " Ins. en EN. *" de sete barbie ou galoche C. de sete 

barbee ne galesche E. de sete barbille ou galesche N. " percha N. 

'■- e de ce est il prest de sei aquiter en tote les manires ke ceste curt agarde 
ke aquiter se deit X. sim S. *^ In SX the steward without any 

intervening conversation adjudges the defendant to a twelve-handed law. 
'* quid C. qui E. quide N. '^ Geffroy C. Geffrey EN. •« Geffrey EN. 
*' syme E. xij. C. duzsime N. '^ Add Sire volunters N. 



THE COURT BAHON. 85 

the arrow and found it, and the buck he presented to his 
lord and gave him tidings of all that had been done ; so that 
wrongfully and against reason and to the great prejudice of 
the lord and in his despite entered [Geoffrey] into the fran- 
chise which he [the lord] had from the king, to wit, of having 
the park for his own proper warren as is contained in the 
charter that he hath from the king, whereby it is forbidden 
on pain of [the king's] grave forfeiture of £10 that any do 
enter to chase or take beasts unless it be by the lord's 
leave ; and thus wrongfully he entered to the damage of the 
lord 20 s. and to his shame of 10 s. If confess etc. 

Tort and force and all that incurs the king's forfeiture 
and is to the prejudice of the lord and in his despite and 
against his franchise and his damages of 20 s. and shame 
of 10 s. and every penny thereof, defendeth G[eoffrey], who 
is here, against the parker John by name, who is there, and 
against his suit and all that he surmiseth against him ; 
and well he showeth thee that never did he enter the lord's 
park privily with dogs or with bows or with arrows nor 
shoot buck or doe or other beast with barbed arrow or Welsh 
arrow ^ nor skin it nor hide it in a ditch or elsewhere. 

Fair friend G[eoffrey] (saith the steward), do you not 
avow this arrow ? I guess that it was drawn by thy hand. 

Sir, I disavow it right out, and never did it issue from 
my hand by day nor night. 

G[eoffrey], how wilt thou acquit thyself of this great 
trespass. 

Sir, in all such wise as this court shall award that acquit 
me I ought. 

G[eoffrey], this court doth award that thou be at a law 
twelve-handed at the next court etc. 



" Godefroy gives examples in French. But in Anglo-French 

which galeste seems to stand for galesche seems to mean Welsh. See 

some kind of arrow, and gives Roquefort s.v. galesche. 
galesce, galesche, as meaning Gaulish, 



jc 2 



36 LA COURT BE BARON. 

De fruit empo^'to hors del gardyn le seignur.' 
[13] Sire seneschall le baillif R. par noun que ci est se pleynt 
de Willame de S.^ que la est, que il encountre la pees le 
seign«r enveya G. ^ son fiz outre les murs noueleme/it festez 
e adressez teu jour tel houre cest an que ore est e ly 
comanda de enporter de checune manere de frut a sa 
volunte ; qz^ant le baillif oy t labbatemewt "* de cel frut ^ ise 
merueylla quey ceo poyt est?-*?, e^ prestement le gardyn le 
seigni(r entra e troua le garcion bien haut sur un arbre 
costardere ^ que il out estue al eos ^ le seigmtr pur sa bounte ; 
descendre ly fit e ly degaia saunz vileyne fere ^ e bonereme??t 
ly aresona par ky comandement a par quel envey il entra 
le gardyn le seignior outre les murs de tûtes pars bien clos ; 
le garcion ly respondit e dit que Willame son père que la 
est enpresent ly comanda le gardyn entrer e as arbres de 
meillur frut ly ensensa,^^ par unt que le baillif suffrit le 
garcion que ilenporta q^^ant ily out pris en la manere^^ que 
encountre ^^ la pees comanda '^ son fiz tel outrage fere par 
unt que le seignnr en a damage a la mountaunce de vj. s. e 
hunta^e de demi marc.^'' Si conustre etc. 
Defense Tort e force *^ e qwant que est encountre la pees le 

seigmtr e ses damages de vj. s. e hunta^e de demi marc ^^ e 
de checun dener, defend W. que ci est encountre le baillif 
K. par noun que la est e encountre sa sute e quant que yly 
mette sur ; e bien vous mustre que unkes son fiz E.^^ que 
la est teu jour tel houre ne unkes nul jour ne nul houre par 
son comandement ne par son envey le gardyn entra pur 
outrage fere ou damage ou nule^^ manere de frut encressaunt 
ne de hors de gardyn le seigniir enporter ^^ comanda sicom 
le baillif ly mette sur. 

> Will, de C. attachiatus est quia filius suus inventus est in gardino 
domini S. by ivay of heading. No heading X. ^ Willame de la Strete C. 

Willame de la Grene N. W. de C. S. ^ T. C. Thomas N. R. S. 

* latement C. ^~^ Om. SX. sey meyruilla E. il sen meruella C. 

' un arbre costarde E. un arbre costard S. ^ oes CENS, us O. 

N omits the 'praises of the tree. ^ e ly de gaga saunz autre vileynye 

fere C. e ly sacha saunz autre vileyne E. Om. saunz vileyne fere SX. 
"'^ assensa -B<SX. " Om. par unt . . . manere SX. '^ jj^r encontre N. 
*^ dont a tort e a nonresoun e encontre la pees le seignor comanda S. 
'■• iiij. s. N. V. s. S. *^ Tort e nonreson XS. "^ iiij. s. N. v. s. S. 

1' T. 0. Thomas N. "* en nule GE. ne nule N. "* For ou 

damage .... emporter read ne nul frut amport' X. 



THE COUET BARON. 36 

Of fruit carried off from the garden of the lord. 

[13] Sir steward, the bailiff K[obert] by name, who is here, 
complaineth of William of the S[treet], who is there, that 
against the peace of the lord he sent [Thomas] his son on 
such a day at such an hour in the year that now is, over 
the walls newly built and erected and commanded him to 
carry off of every manner of fruit at his will ; and when 
the bailiff heard the fruit being knocked down, he marvelled 
who this could be, and at once entered the lord's garden 
and found the boy right high on a costard tree, which he 
had cultivated for the lord's use because of its goodness ; 
he made him come down and attached him without doing 
him any villany, and debonairely asked him by whose com- 
mandment and whose sending he entered the lord's garden 
over walls well closed on all sides, and the boy answered 
and said that William his father, who is present there, bade 
him enter the garden and urged him on to the trees with 
the best fruit ; so the bailiff suffered the boy to carry off 
all that he had taken ; and in this wise did he [William], 
against the peace, bid his son to do this outrage so that the 
lord has damage to the amount of 6 s. and shame of a half- 
mark. If confess etc. 

Tort and force and all that is against the peace of the 
lord and his damages of 6 s. and shame of a half- mark and 
every penny of it defendeth W[illiam], who is here, against 
the bailiff E[obert] by name, who is there, and against his 
suit and all that he surmiseth against him ; and well he 
showeth thee that never did his son [Thomas], who is there, 
on such a day at such an hour or on any day or hour at 
his [William's] bidding or sending enter the garden to do 
outrage or damage and that never did he bid him carry off 
out of the garden any manner of fruit there growing as the 
bailiff surmiseth against him. 



37 LA COURT DE BARON. 

Willam^?, fet le seneschall, aumeyns vous ne poez dédire 
que il ne est vostre meyn past, ne ke il ne fu dégage en le 
gardyn ^ le seignior pur le utrage e pur le trespas ; cornent 
volez vous mêmes aquyter que unkes ceo ne ly feistes fere 
ne comandastes.^ 

Sire, pur le fet mon fiz e pur le trespas su prest a fere 
vostre volunte e requer vostre grace, pièges etc.^ 

Ore comewt volez vous mêmes aquyter e del enveye e 
del comandement. 

Sire par quant que ceste curt agarde que aquyter me 
dey. 

Jeo vous die bien que ceste curt agarde que vous seiez 
a une lay cue sime etc.'' 



De pessun en le viuer le seignur prise.* 

[14] Sire seneschall, le baillif K. par nouw que ci est se 
pleynt de Wauter de la More ^ que la est, que il encountre ^ 
la pees le seignior vient tele nuyt tel an a houre de my 
nuyt e entra le viuer le seigm^r que de bon mur fut clos 
enviroun e de checun mane?'e de pessoun de euwe duze 
enprist a sa volunte ; quant il out pris ceo que beu ly fut 
celement les murs passa e le pesson oue ly enporta e en fit 
sa largesse e de ceo se en vaunta,® dount le viuer est enpeyre 
a la mountaunce de dei/ii marc a damage le seigmtr de xx. 
s.^ Si conustre etc. 
Defense Tort e forco ^° quant que est encountre ^^ la pees le 

seignior e le enpirement de son viuer de demi marc e les 
damages de xx. s. e le hunta^e de xx. s.^^ e checun dener, 

* dégagée en le gardeyn E. deage e en le gardin S. deage e le gardin X. 
^ acquiter de cest trespas meymes del envoyé e del comandement N. 
^ Willam trouez plegges E. X ends this case here. S ends it thus : — Sire 
fet W. le fet mon fiz sui prest défère vostre talent solum mon poer. Trouez 
nos pleggea de la merci. Sire volunters. ■* od vostre sime mayn de vous 
aquyter a la procheine curt etc. C. Add Sire volunters E. ^ Williams 

de la More attachiatus est eo quod cepit pisces in vivario domini. S by 
way of heading. No heading X. ^ Water Modi N. '' Ins. la pes 

deu e N. sun. S. ^ e en fit sey large e de ceo sey auanta E. e se 

fist larges a aukune genz e comment il le [les S.] out se auanta X. sivi. S. 
^ Ins. e hountage de x. souz C. e le huntage de demy marc X. e le hontage 
de un marc S. '" Tort e non resoun S. " his. la pes deue N. 

'^ hounte x. s. C. hontage de un marc S. 



THE COUET BAEON. 37 

William (saith the steward), at least thou canst not deny 
that he is thy mainpast, nor that he was attached in the 
lord's garden for the outrage and for the trespass ; how wilt 
thou acquit thyself that thou didst not make or bid him do 
this? 

Sir, for the deed of my son and the trespass I am ready 
to do thy will, and I ask thy favour. My pledges are etc. 

But how wilt thou acquit thyself of the sending and 
bidding ? 

In such wise, sir, as this court shall award that acquit 
myself I ought. 

I tell thee then that this court awardeth that thou be at 
thy law six-handed at the next court. 

That will I, sir. 

Of fish taken in the lord's pond. 

[14J Sir steward, the bailiff K[obert] by name, who is here, 
complaineth of Walter of the Moor, who is there, that 
against the peace of the lord he came on such a night in 
such a year, at the hour of midnight, and entered the 
preserve of the lord, which was shut round with a good 
wall, and carried off at his will of every kind of fresh-water 
fish ; and when he had taken what he listed he privily 
crossed the wall and carried the fish with him and made 
gifts of it ^ and boasted of this ; whereby the preserve is 
deteriorated to the amount of a half-mark and to the 
damage of the lord 20 s. [and shame of a half-mark]. If 
confess etc. 

Tort and force and all that is against the peace and the 
deterioration of the preserve to the amount of a half-mark 
and the damages of 20 s. and the shame of 20 s. and every 

» As to the meaning of the French phrase, see below, pi. 35. 



38 LA COUET DE BARON. 

defend Wautcr que ci est encountre le baillif R. par noun 
que la est e encountre sa sute e quant que yli mette sur ; e 
bien vous m?^stre que unkes le viu^r le seignwr nutantre ne 
de cler jour entra ne nule manure de pesson ^ ne enporta 
sicom le baillif ly mette sur. 

Coment volez vous aquyter. 

Sire, fet son coiintour, il durra au seignur un demy 
marc par unt que ceo seit enquys ententiuement ^ par les 
meillurs genz ^ de la vile etc.^ 



De estuble enporte hors de champ le seignur.* 

[15] Sire seneschall, le baillif R. que ci est se pleynt de 
Willam le Lorimer,^ que la est que il encountre ^ la pees 
le seignz^^r e vos tre commune defense teu jour tel houre ou 
an que fu enueya deus de ces hommes Johan e T.^ en le 
champ de E. en un certeyn lu que est appelle B. e le 
estuble de cel lu comanda a faucher, de quel estuble le 
prouost le seign^tr soleit fere couerir la grange le seignior e 
la charpe/iterie a la dayer ^ que ore par encheson de cel 
estuble par son comandeme/it fauche e enporte sunt des- 
couers a son damage ^^ de xl, s. e hunta^e de xx. s. Si 
conustre le veut etc. 
Defense Tort 6 forcc ^^ qî^ant que est encountre la pees le 

seignur e vostre com??mne defense e ses damages de xl. s. e 
hunta^e de xx. s. e de checmi dener, defend Willame que ci 
est encountre le baillif R. par noun que la est e encou/itre 
sa sute e q^^ant que ily mette sur ; e a ceo que il dit que il 
envoya J. e T. en cel lu certeyn e le estuble faucher e en- 
porter comanda, r sponoms e diomus tut outre que unkes 
tele gent par son envey ne par son comandeme/it le estuble 

^ ' Ins. de ewe douce X. sim. NS. ^ leament N, and then—'E puis 

seit enquis. ^ pg^j. j^qj^q ggj^^ XS. * Add Ideo inquiratur C. 

Volunters fet le seneschal. Et ideo inquiratur S. ^ Will, le Lorimer 

attachiatus est quia famuli sui messerunt stipulam domini contra defensum 
S by way of heading. No heading X. « Willame le Orfèvre N. 

' Ins. la pes deu e S. » Johan e Thomas N. envoya ij. desagent 

J. e T. /S. ** e la carpentarie e la dayerie C. sa charpenterie e sa 

bouerie N. Om. a la dayer X. 'o al damage le seigneur X. sim. ES. 

" Tort e nonreson X sim. S. 



THE COUKT BARON. 38 

penny thereof, defendeth Walter, who is here, against the 
baiUff K[obert] by name, who is there, and against his suit 
and all that he surmiseth against him ; and well he showeth 
thee that never did he enter the lord's preserve by night nor 
day nor carry off any manner of fish, as the bailiff surmiseth 
against him. 

How wilt thou acquit thyself? 

Sir, saith his pleader, he will give the lord a half-mark 
that this may be earnestly inquired of by the best folk of 
the vill etc. 

Of stubble carried from the lord's field. 

[15] Sir steward, the bailiff K[obert] by name, who is here, 

complaineth of William Lorimer, who is there, that against ^ ^wi^ <-*^» 

the peace of the lord and thy general prohibition, on such 

a day at such an hour in the year that was, he sent two of 

his men John and T[homas] to the field of E. in a certain 

place called B. and commanded them to mow the stubble 

of that place, with which stubble the lord's reeve was wont 

to cover the lord's barn and carpentry and dairy, which 

now by reason of the stubble having been so mown and 

carried off by his command are uncovered, to the damage 

of the lord 40 s. and shame 20 s. If confess he will ete. 

Tort and force and all that is against the lord's peace 
and thy general prohibition and his damages of 40 s . and 
shame of 20 s. and every penny thereof, defendeth William, 
who is here, against the bailiff E[obert] by name, who is 
there, and against his suit and all that he surmiseth against 
him ; and as to what he says about his sending J[ohn"| and 
T[homas] to the said place and bidding them mow and 
carry off the stubble, we answer and say outright that never 
did such persons by his sending or bidding cut the stubble 



)U 



39 LA COUET DE BARON. 

de cel lu sierent ne de même le lu enporterent ; e que ceo 
seit vérité si mette il en la jurre de la vile.^ 
Ideo inquiratur. 

De herbe fauche a tort en le pre le seignur.^ 
[16] Sire seneschall, le baillif K. que ci est se pleynt de 
Wauter Coket ^ que la est, que atort e encountre ^ la pees le 
seignur e la vostre que auez la peez etc. e encountre yostre 
com??iune defense teu jour tel honre ou an en este'' enveya 
une sa garce Juliane ^ par noun en le pre le seignwr nome- 
ment en un certeyn lu que est appelle Comede ^ pur faucher 
herbe en tel lu e del enporter le, quel herbe soleit checun an 
estre fauche e o^turne ^ al oes le ^ palefrey le seignior pur sa 
frechete ^^ de unt atort e encountre dreyture ^^ e encountre 
la pees le seignur ^^ e vostre commune defense '^ par unt que 
le seignur en ad damage al mountaunce de un marc e 
hniïtage de demi marc. Si conustre etc.^'* 
Defense Tort e forcc ^^ e quant que est encountre la pees le 

seign^tr e Yostxe com?7zune defense e les damages le seignur 
de un demi marc ^^ e de checuw dener defend Wauter ^^ que 
ci est encountre le baillif K. que la est e encountre sa sute 
e quant que ily mette sur ; e prest est de ly aquyter en 
tûtes les maneres que ceste curt agarde que aquyter se deit^^ 
ke unkes nule sa garce Juliane par noun ^^ en le pre le 
seignur nomement que est appelle Comade^^ pur herbe 
faucher ^^ enveya ne herbe enporter comanda. 

Beus amys Wauter,^^ fet le seneschall, ceste curt agarde 
que Yus seiez a une lay oue vostre sime ^^ mayn ^^ etc.^^ 

' Ins. e de bien e de mal N. ^ Walterus Corbet attachiatus est quia 

ancilla sua falcavit pratum domini contra defensum S by way of heading. 
No heading X. ^ Water Corbet N. W. Corbet S. * Ins. la pes 

deu e N. ^ Om. en este E. ^ sun garcoun Johan E. sa meschine 

Giliane N. ' Coumede C. Hamme E. Lundemede N. apele A. XS. 

* estre estue e fauche N. estre estue iekes a tele seson de an X sitn. S. 
^ Om.leA. '" sa bounte X. sa frescheste e sa bountee £. " atort 

e a nonreson X. sim. S. '^~" Om. SX. '* NS continue the formula. 
'^ Tort e non reson X sim. S. *^ Ins. et huntage de un demi marc 

N. sim. S. '" W illame N erroneously. '^ X has no more of this para- 
graph. '^ sun garcoun E. sa meschine Giliane N. cel garcson O. 
'^ Coumede C. Hamme E. Lundemede N. C. S. ^' Ins. ne CN. 
22 Willame N. " yj-e x. syme E. sisime S. " ^^^ ^ la pro- 
cheine curt de vous aquiîer C. ^^ At this point S. has a fnargi7ial not-e 
— Explicit officium senescalli et incipit secunda pars. 



THE COUKT BARON. B9 

of that place nor carry it thence ; and that this is the truth 
he puts himself on the jury of the vill. 
Therefore be this inquired. 

Of grass wrongfully mown in the lord's meadow. 

[16] Sir steward, the bailiff E[obert], who is here, complaineth 
of Walter Coket, who is there, that wrongfully and against the 
peace of the lord and of thee who art charged etc. and against 
thy general prohibition on such a day and hour in such a 
year, he sent his girl Juliana by name to a certain place 
called Cowmead to mow the grass in that place and carry it 
off, which grass is wont to be cut each year and devoted on 
account of its freshness to the use of the lord's palfrey, and 
this wrongfully and against right and against the lord's 
peace and thy general prohibition, whereby the lord has 
damage to the amount of a mark and shame a half-mark. 
If confess etc. 

Tort and force and all that is against the lord's peace 
and thy general prohibition and the lord's damages of [a 
mark and shame of] a half-mark and every penny thereof, 
defendeth Walter, who is here, against the bailiff K[obert], 
who is there, and against his suit and all that he surmiseth 
against him ; and ready is he to acquit himself in all such 
wise as this court shall award that acquit himself he ought 
that never did he send his girl Juliana by name into the 
lord's meadow, namely that called Cowmead, nor command 
her to mow the grass or carry it off. 

Fair friend Walter (saith the steward), this court 
awardeth that thou be at thy law six-handed, etc. 



40 LA COURT DE BABON. 

' De marcliandise desturhe,^ 

[17] Sire seneschall, Willamg ^ de Wodestoke que ci est se 
pleynt de K.^ le Pestour que la est que il atort ly sup- 
planta de un tonel de vyn de une marchande ^ de Somer- 
tone,^ Bernard Taneys ^ p<xr noun, que il achata de luy -pur 
xxxvj. s.^ e que dona^ e que plegges troua pur leument 
payer le auandit auer a un ce?'teyn jour saunz checun delay; 
la vint même cely Eobert en le despit W. que ci est e isbunt 
de mal e tauTit de vileyne ^^ procura ^^ de ly al marchau/it e 
sa besoigne demeyne gayta e bargayna ^^ que le marchaurit 
1}^ crut ^^ même le tonel pur xl. s. dekes a un certeyn jour ^"^ 
e issi encherist il la vente de iiij. s.^'^ ; cesti Willame si 
alowa une charette a iiij. chiuaus pur demi marc pur carier 
lavauntdite tonel a S.^^ a sa meson demeyne a Wostoke ^^ ; 
q?/ant il vint a S.^^ il troua le marchaunt pur les diz que 
Robert ly out counte en autre corage, que il ne ly lessa e 
tut outre ly dit que tau/it de mal il oy de ly parler que il ne 
ly freit nule creaunce ; e en tel manere reti^^rna de cel port 
oue sa charette que il out alowe tut voyde com il la mena, 
e pleynement e nent le plus tart '^ le couenant a charette 
rendit ; dount a tort e saunz reson tauwt de mal de ly parla 
e procura a son damage de xl. s.^^ e hunta^e de c. s. Si 
conustre etc. 
Defense Tort e force e qi^ant que a tort appent defend R. que ci 

est encountre Willam de Wodestoke que la est e ses 
damages de xl. s. e hunta^e de c. s. e de checun dener e 
encountre ly e encountre sa sute e qusbïit que yli mette sur ; 
e bien vous mustre ke unkes de lauantdite tonel ne ly sup- 
planta en dit ne en fet ne le vente encherist de iiij. s.^^ ou 
de akun dener sicum ily mette sur ; e de ceo est il prest de 

' This case is not in SX. ^ Encoupement quant hum supplante un 

autre de sa marchandise. E. Encoupement de la supplantation de un tonel 
de vin. N. Quant home se pleynt de sa marchaundise. O. ^ Ins. le 

Vineter N. * Robert N. ^ un marchaund E. ^ Sutham- 

tone EN. Somertone C. '' A. de B. E. Bernard Toneys C. Bernard 

Toteneis N. ^ xxx. b. E. ^ e hernes dona E. e ernes dona N. 

•" vilaynie N. vyleynye O. " parla EN. '^ Om. gayta e E. 

geyta G. avancha e bargaina N. ^^ marchaund encreust E. •* Ins. 
achata N. '* par x. souz C. '* tonel de Suthamtone E. tonel a 

Suhamtone C. " Wodestoke CN. '^ Stopham CO. Suthamptone N. 
'^ e pleynement iartardeys E. ^" x. li. E. ^i x. souz E. 



THE COURT BARON. 40 

Of disturbing a bargain. 

[17] Sir steward, William [Vintner] of Woodstock, who is 
here, complaineth of E[obert] Baker, who is there, that 
wrongfully he supplanted him of a ton of wine of a merchant 
of Southampton, Bernard Taneys by name, which he [the 
plaintiff] bought of him [Bernard] for 36 s. and gave 
[earnest] and found pledges to duly pay the said sum on a 
certain day without any delay ; this done, came the said 
Eobert and in despite of W[illiam], who is here, spake so 
much ill and villany of him to the merchant and drove his 
own bargain so that the merchant increased the price of 
the ton to 40 s. payable at a certain day, and thus did he 
[Robert] raise the price by 4 s. ; and the said William hired 
a cart with four horses for a half-mark to carry the ton 
from Southampton to his house at Woodstock ; and when 
he came to Southampton he found that owing to what 
Robert had said the merchant was now of another mind, 
that he would not let him [have the wine] and told him 
right out that he heard tell so much evil of him that he 
would give him no credit ; and so [William] returned 
from the port with the cart that he had hired as empty as 
when he took it thither, and none the less had to pay for 
its hire on the day fixed for payment ; so that wrongfully 
and without reason did he [Robert] speak evil of and pro- 
cure evil for him [William] to his damage of 40 s . and 
shame of 100 s. If confess etc. 

Tort and force and all that to tort belongeth, defendeth 
R[obert], who is here, against William of W^oodstock, who 
is there, and his damages of 40 s. and shame of 100 s. and 
every penny of it, both against him and against his suit 
and all that he surmiseth against him ; and well he showeth 
thee that never did he supplant him of the said ton or raise 
the price against him by 4 s. or any penny as he surmiseth ; 



41 LA COURT DE BARON. 

sey aquyter en totes les maners que ceste curt agarde que 
aquyter se deit. 

Beus amys Kobert, fit le seneschall, ceste curte agarde 
que vus seiez a une lay oue Yostve syme mayn a la procheyn * 
etc. 

^ De bastes pestes en le pre le seignur. 

[18] Sire seneschall, Johan le Messer que ci est se pleynt de 
Wauter Modi que la est, que il encountre^la pees le seignur 
e Yostre commune defense celement "^ ou an que fu ^ pessant 
herbe en le pre de C. oue ses bestes ^ e vaches atort e en 
despit le seignur ; e pur ceo atort, que la ou il ad sufïisaunte 
pasture en la co?7imune de a taunt ^ de bestes e de animalz 
com il ad e com il appent de auer solom le frû^nc tenement 
que il tent de ly en même la vile, douwt atort pessount 
lauantdite herbe au damage le seignur de demi marc e 
hunta^e de v. s. Si conustre le veut, beu ly est, si le dédit, 
atort le dédit, kar veiz ci sute bone A. e B. que ensemble- 
ment oue ly furunt quant il les bestes prendre voleit pur 
le auantdite trespas Wauter ne ly suffrit les auantditz bestes 
prendre einz ly deneya tut outre etc. 

Tort e force defend Wauter Mody que ci est e quant que 
est encountre ^ la pees le seignt^r e Yostïe comwiune defense 
e prest est de ly aquyter en totes les maneres que ceste curt 
agarde que aquyter se deit que unkes lauantdite herbe ne 
pessout. 

Sire, le Messer demande si Wauter avoue ceo que son 
countowr ad dit pur ly. 

E Wauter respondit ke oyl. 

E donc dit le Messer, Sire auis nus est que il nest pas 
respondu couenablement solom le usage de ceste curt, kar 
il défailli entauwt que il ne dit mye ^ encountre sa sute '^ ne 
les damages le seignur ne le huntage ne la violence ^* fet au 

' a la procheine curt etc. C. Add de vous acquiter ke etc. N. ^ This 

case is not in SX. ^ Ins. la pes deu e E. * tel nuyt C. * Ins. ly 

troua E. ^ boefs CN. ' commune de C. a taunt E. en la 

commune de N. a tant N. en la commune de vacaunt de bestes C. 
" Ins. la pes deu e N. ^-'o encountre le messer e encountre sa seute 

E. sim. CN. " volunte NO. 



THE COURT BARON. 41 

and of this he is ready to acquit himself in all such wise 
as this court shall award that acquit himself he ought. 

Fair friend Kobert (saith the steward), this court 
awardeth that thou be at a law six-handed at the next 
[court] etc. 

Of beasts pastured in the lord's meadow. 

[18] Sir steward, John Hayward, who is here, complaineth of 
Walter Moody, who is there, that against the peace of the 
lord and thy general prohibition [on such a day at such 
an hour in such] a year found he him pasturing the grass 
in the meadow of C. with his beasts and cows wrongfully 
and in the lord's despite, and wrongfully because he hath 
sufficient pasture in the common for as many beasts and 
animals as he hath and ought to have according to the free 
tenement which he holds of him [the lord] in the same 
vill ; so wrongfully did he depasture the said grass to the 
damage of the lord a half-mark and shame 5 s. If confess 
he will, well and good ; if he denieth, wrongfully he denieth, 
for lo here is good suit A. and B. who were with him 
[John] when he tried to take the beasts on account of the 
said trespass and Walter would not suffer him to take them 
but refused outright etc. 

Tort and force defendeth Walter Moody, who is here, 
and all that is against the peace of the lord and thy general 
prohibition, and ready is he to acquit himself in all such 
wise as this court shall award that acquit himself he ought 
that never did he depasture the said grass. 

Sir (asketh the Hayward), do thou ask whether Walter 
wall avow what his pleader hath said on his behalf. 

And Walter answereth, Yea. 

Sir (then saith the Hayward), we are advised that he hath 
not answered fittingly according to the usage of this court, 
for he hath failed, insomuch that he hath not said ' against 
his suit ' nor denied the damages of the lord nor the shame 



42 LA COURT DE BARON. 

messer ; "par unt nus dem.?indoms vos agardz e vos jugemenz 
^ de ly com nonn défendu.^ 

Beus amys Wauter, auez entendu ceo que il vous dit. 

Sire, oyl. 

Sauez vous autre chose dire par response. 

Sire, auis nus est que nus ly auomi^s respondu suffisau- 
meiit, e de ceo metums nus bien en lagarde de ceste curt e 
en vos jugemenz. 

Wauter, fet le seneschallf vous auez respondu meynz 
suffisaume^t que fere ne dussez solom le usage de ceste curt 
par la reson que vous dussez auer défendu encountre le 
messer e encountre sa sute e vous ne defendistis mye les 
damages le seigm^r ne le hnntage ne le despit fet au messer 
com fere dussez ; ^ e desicom vous estes acoupe sur ces 
poynz les queus poynz vous ne avez mye défendu,'* si 
agard<3 ceste curt que vous seiez en la mercy le seignior e 
que vous amendez le trespas ue^^s le messer -pur ceo ke 
vous ne suffrites prendre les auantdites bestes come fere 
dussez. 



^De bestes troue en les blez le seignur. 

[19] Sire seneschally Johan le Messer que ci est se pleynt de 
Jordan de la For de ^ que la est, que la ou il ala teu jour tel 
houre ou an que fu environauwt les champ au com ^ profit 
le seignur e de ces bone genz com a son mestier appent, la 
troua il la jumente même cely Jordan en les aueynes le 
seignwr e si vileymewt les out defute que le seignur en ad 
damage de v. s. e huntage de ij. s.^ 
Defense Tort e force defend Jordan que ci est e les damages le 

seignur de v. s. e huntage de ij. s. e de checu7i dener en- 
countre Johan le Messer que la est e encountre sa sute e 
bien vous montre que unkes traua ^ il sa jumente ^^ en les 
aueynes le seignior par unt que le seigmtr out damage ou 

'-2 Om. NO. ^~* sicum vous estes chalangee E. * This case is 

not in SX. * Willam de la Forge E. '' al comun E. al comun 

profit e prou C. ** Add si conustre etc. C. si conustre le veut etc. N. 

" trova C, '" sa jumente trouée ne fu par Johan le Messer E. 



THE COURT BARON. 42 

nor the violence done to the Hay ward ; wherefore we demand 
your awards and your judgments of him as of one unde- 
fended. 

Fair friend Walter, hast heard what he saith ? 

Yea, sir. 

Hast aught else to say by way of answer ? 

Sir, we are advised that we have answered him suffi- 
ciently, and of this we put ourselves on the award of this 
court and your judgments. 

Walter (saith the steward), thou hast answered less 
sufficiently than thou oughtest according to the usage of 
this court, for thou shouldest have defended ' against the 
Hay ward and against his suit,' and thou didst not defend as 
thou oughtest the damages of the lord nor his shame nor 
the despite done to the Hayward ; and whereas thou art 
accused on these points and hast not defended them, this 
court doth award that thou be in the lord's mercy and do 
make amends for the trespass against the Hayward in that 
thou didst not suffer him to take the said beasts as thou 
oughtest to have done. 

Of beasts found in the lord's corn. 

[19] Sir steward, John the Hayward, who is here^ complaineth 
of Jordan of the Ford, who is there, that as he went on such 
a day, hour, year, round about the fields to the common 
profit of the lord and his good folk as belongeth to his busi- 
ness, he found the mare of the said John in the lord's oats, 
and so vilely had she trodden them down that the lord had 
damage of 5 s. and shame of 2 s. 

Tort and force defendeth Jordan, who is here, and the 
lord's damages of 5 s. and shame of 2 s., and every penny 
thereof against John the Hayward, who is there, and against 
his suit, and well he showeth thee that never did he find his 
mare in the lord's oats whereby the lord had damage or 



VOL. IV. 



43 LA COUET DE BARON. 

himtrtz/e sicom ily mette sur ; e de ceo est il pr<?st de sey 
aquyter en totes les manures que ceste curt agar de que 
aquyter se deit. 
Ideo ad legem/ 

De arbres coupes en le boys le seignur. 

[20] Sire seneschall, le Forester ^ que ci est Thomas de B. par 
noun se pleynt de Wauter de la Croiz ^ que la est, que la ou 
il vint teu jour tel houre cest an que fu en le seueral boys 
le seignior de ceste vile de N. pur choces que ly soucia ^ que 
leynz furent,'^ la troua il même cely Wauter coupaunt une 
cheyne ou nul droit ne auoyt de cheyne prendre ou couper ; 
le forester ^ ly aresona e demanda par ky counge il coupa 
■cel cheyne ; e ily respondit e dit que ben ly lust ^ celé cheyne 
couper ^ ou autre merine ^ illukes prendre ausi com de la 
com?7iune que est appzwtenant a son franc tenement; le 
forester ly respondit e dit que ceo fu le seueral boys le 
seignur e ly demanda gage ; e il ne '^ ly suffrit de gager ^* ; 
le forester luy defendist de par le seignur que il cessast de 
celé cheyne couper e ke il ne fu issi hardi hors de illukes 
carier se il ne fut par vos^re counge''^ ; il ne lessera^^pas pur 
ceo que il ne la coupa ^^* a force e encountre la pees le seign?/r 
e Yostie com7?iune defense a damage le seignz^r de un marc 
e hunta^e de demi marc.^^ Si conustre etc. 
i>efensc Tort 6 force ^^ e qttant que est encountre la pees le seigm/r 

e ses damages ^^ de un marc e huntage de demi marc e de 
checuw dener defend Wauter de la Croiz que ci est en- 
countre T. de B.'^ que la est e encountre sa sute e qz^ant 
que yly mette sur ; e bien vous mustre ke unkes cheyne ne 
nul autre arbre en le seiteral ^^ boys le seignt^r coupa ne 

' Ins. suam sexta manu C. E puis seyt a sa lay N. ^ le Messer 

SX. le forester ke ci est Thomas de Bayngrave N. ^ Water Cresse N. 

* que il soucha CE. qil soucha S. ^ que leynz fu celement fete E. 

pur chose kil entendist ke leinz fu celement fete i\r. <* le Messir X. sim. S. 
' ben li list C. bien luy plust N. bin li plut X. «-^ e autres menues 

veyes S. '""'' ne vousyst suffrir ly de gagera. ^^ q^j^^ Jq forester 

ly repondit e dit . . . counge XS. '^ lessa E. ^* quil ne caria ce 

keime a son hostel a tort e a non [resun] e od la mein overe S. ^^ S. omits 
the allegation of damage. ^^ Tort e non reson X. sim. S. ^' les 

damages le seignur X. sim. S. les damages e les defens le seignur E. 
"* le messer not T. de B. 5. "* general N. 



THE COURT BARON. 43 

shame as he surmiseth against him ; and of this is he ready 
to acquit himself in all such wise as this court shall award 
that acquit himself he ought. 
Therefore to a law. 

Of trees cut in the lord's wood. 

[20] Sir steward, the Forester, who is here, Thomas of B[ayn' 
grave] by name, complaineth of Walter of the Cross, who is 
there, that as he came on such a day and hour in this year 
that was into the several wood of the lord of this vill of N. 
concerning something which he understood to be privily done 
therein, there found he the said Walter cutting an oak where 
he had no right to take or cut oak ; and the Forester took 
him to account and asked him by whose leave he was cut- 
ting that oak ; and he answered and said that it was quite 
lawful for him to cut that oak there or take other timber 
thence as of the common which is appurtenant to his free 
tenement ; and the Forester answered and said that this was 
the several wood of the lord and demanded gage, and he 
would not suffer him to take gage ; and the Forester enjoined 
him in the lord's name to cease cutting that oak, and not to 
be so bold as to carry it thence, unless it were by thy leave ; 
but he ceased not for this but went on cutting it with force 
and against the lord's peace and thy general prohibition, to 
the lord's damage of a mark and shame of a half-mark. If 
confess etc. 

Tort and force and all that is against the lord's peace 
and [the lord's] damages of a mark and shame of a half- 
mark and every penny thereof, defendeth Walter of the 
Cross, who is here, against T[homas] of B[ayngrave], who is 
there, and against his suit and all that he surmiseth against 
him ; and well he showeth thee that never did he cut oak 
or other tree in the several wood of the lord nor carry it 



F 2 



44 LA COURT DE BARON. 

ulluk^s caria sicom le forester ly mette sur ; e de ceo vus 
-prie il e requert ententiuement de vos^re office par lele 
enqueste de bone genz seit enquis. 

Wautcr, fet le seneschallj quey durrez vous ^ pur auer 
bone enqueste. 

Sire, il durra demi marc.^ 



De verges trenches en le boys le seignt*r. 

[21] Sire seneêchall, le Forester que ci est T. de W.^ se pleint 
de Nichol de la More que la est, que la ou yl ala teu jour 
tel houre cest an que fu en la foreste de E.^ en un ce?^teyn ^ 
lu que est appelle N. la troua il mêmes cesti Nichol coupaunt 
verges de coudre e auoyt coupe a la mou/itaunce de la sum?»e 
de un chiual ; le forester ly pria que il sen alast saunz plus 
de outrage fere ; Nichol ly respondit e dit que il soleyt e 
deueit illukes verges prendre tautit com mestier ly sereit a 
ses cleys ^ dount fere une faude a ses berbiz ; le forester ly 
défendit de part le seigni^^r e de part vus que il ne les remuast 
de celé place partye ou tut de celé verges en tele manere 
trenches sil ne fut par vos^re counge ; même cesti Nichol 
ne lessa pas pur ceo que il ne les endossa a un chiual e de 
celé place a sa meson demeyne les caria atort ^ e encountre ^ 
la pees le seignt^r ; par unt que le seignior en ad perte e 
damage a la mountauwce de xx. s. e hunta^e de x. s. Si 
conustre etc.^ 
Defense Tort e force ^° e quant que est encountre ^^ la pees le 

seignior e ses damages de xx. s. e hunta^e de x. s. e de 
checun dener defend Nichol que ci est encountre Thomas le 
Forester que la est e encountre sa sute e qîiant que ily mette 
sur ; e bien vous mustre que tuz ces auncestres auant ly 
furent en saysine de prendre illukes en cel forest verges 



' Ins. al seygnur N. al seignor S. ^ Add Ideo inquiratur C. E puis 
^seyt enquis N. ^ T. de B. C. Thomas par noun N. * foreste de 

Arundel N. ^ certeynt A. « vj. cleyes X sim. ENOS. 

' Ins. e a non reisoun S. ^ Ins. la pes deu e N. ^ S continues 

the usual formula. ^" Tort e non reson X. sim. S, ^* Ins. la 

pes deu e iVc 



THE COURT BARON. 44 

thence as the Forester surmiseth against him ; and this he 
prayeth and requests thee earnestly may be inquired of thy 
office by lawful inquest of good folk. 

Walter (saith the steward), what will thou give [the lord] 
to have a good inquest ? 

Sir, he will give a half-mark.. 



Of sticks cut in the lord's wood. 

[21] Sir steward, the Forester, who is here, T[homas] of 
B[ayngrave], complaineth of Nicholas of the Moor, who is 
there, that as he went on such a day and hour this year 
that was in the forest of [Arundel] in a certain place which 
is called N. he found this Nicholas cutting hazel-sticks and 
he had cut to the amount of a horse-load ; and the Forester 
prayed him to depart without doing further outrage ; and 
Nicholas answered him and said that he was wont and 
ought to cut there sticks as many as need were for making 
[six] hurdles as a fold for his sheep ; and the Forester bade 
him in the lord's name and in thy name not to remove from 
that place all or any of the sticks thus cut unless it were 
by thy leave ; but the said Nicholas ceased not for that but 
put them on the back of a horse and carried them thence to 
his house, wrongfully and against the lord's peace, whereby 
the lord hath loss and damage to the amount of 20 s. and 
shame of 10 s. If confess etc. 

Tort and force and all that is against the lord's peace 
and his damage of 20 s. and shame of 10 s. and every penny 
thereof, defendeth Nicholas, who is here, against Thomas 
the Forester, who is there, and against his suit and all that 
he surmiseth against him ; and well he showeth thee that 
all his ancestors before him were in seisin of taking thence 



.45 LA COURT DE BARON, 

tau7zt com mcstic^- serroyt^ domitune faude fere a lui* berbiz 
en même la vile de N.^ 

Lessez nus ver cel feffement. 

Sire, volunters. 

Beus amy s N., nus trouomus en ceste chartr^ de feffe- 
ment que vus mettez auant pur resuns e ^ quant que vous 
auez dit fors pris eeo que vous devez verges prendre par 
veue del forester ^ e desicom vous auez reconu en ceste curt 
que vous ne preistes celés verges en la forest le seignur par 
veue de le forester ne par son assigneme?it si agard ceste 
curt que vous seiez en la mercy ^ le soigner, plegges, etc. 



De deuises le seignur trenches e amenuses.^ 

[22] Sire seneschall, Richard de Aston ^ que ci est se pleynt de 
Nichol de Boys ^ que la est, que il encountre ^ la pees le 
seignwr teu jour tel houre cest an que fu, que com il aueient 
une deuise entre les terres celi Richard e Nichol la vient 
même cesti Nichol e celé deuise atort trencha e amenusa ^° 
la quele deuise ne deit estre trenche par dreit ne amenuse 
saunz le assentement des parties ; e ceo tort e ceo trespas ly 
fit a ses damages de xx. s. etc.^' 
Defense Tort e forco ^^ e la pees le seigmtr enfreynte e les damages 

Richard de Astone de xx. s. e le hunta^e de x. s. e de checun 
dener defend Nichol que ci est encountre Richard que la est 
e encountre sa sute e quant que ily mette sur e bien reconust 

' Ins. a vj. cleyes X. sim. ENS. ^ Add Veez cy le feffement de les 

auncestres le seignur que fefferent les auncestres même cely etc. E. kaunt 
il averunt mester e ke ceo seit vérité veez cy le feffement dunt les auncestres 
le seignur fefferent les auncestres même cesti Nicol C. sim. NS. ^ pur 
respuns C. * For pur resuns . . . forester read pur vos fors que vos 

deviez prendre verges par veue de forester 8 ; pur vus ke vos y deuez uerges 
prendre sicora vous dites mes non pas sanz veue de forester X. ^ Ins. 

pur ce ke vous ne les preistes mye en veue de forester X. sim. S. 
"De deuise le seignur trenchez. C. Encoupement de deuises trenches E. 
Éncoupement de devise a tort trenche N. No heading SX. '' Y. de 

C. X. " J. de P. X. Johan de Boys E. In N Nichol du Boys is 

plaintiff, Richard de Astone defendant. In S Willame is plaintiff, J. 
defendant. ^ Ins. la pes deu c A^. •" c la menuser Z. " CN 

lay the shame at twenty shillings, S at a half-mark. CNS give the con- 
cluding formula or part of iL '^ -jort o nonrcson X. 



THE COURT BAEON. 45 

in this forest sticks as many as were needful to make a fold 
for their sheep in the said vill of N. See here the feoffment 
of the ancestors of the lord who enfeoffed the ancestors of 
this same [Nicholas] etc.* 

Let us see this feoffment. 

Willingly, sir. 

Fair friend Npcholas], we find in this charter of feoff- 
ment which thou puttest forward by way of answer all that 
thou sayest save that thou shouldest take the sticks by view 
of the Forester, and whereas thou hast confessed in this 
court that thou didst not take these sticks in the lord's forest 
by view of the Forester nor by his assignment, this court 
doth award that thou be in the lord's mercy. Pledges etc. 

Charge of cutting boundaries. 

[22] Sir steward, Eichard of Ashton, who is here, complaineth 
of Nicholas of the Wood, who is there, that against the lord's 
peace on such a day at such an hour this year that was, 
whereas there was an ancient boundary between the lands 
of the said Eichard and Nicholas, came the said Nicholas 
and wrongfully cut and diminished the said boundary, which 
by right ought not to be cut or diminished without the con- 
sent of the parties ; and this tort and trespass he did against 
him, to his damages of 20 s. etc. 

Tort and force and any breach of the lord's peace and 
the damages of Eichard of Ashton of 20 s. and the shame of 
10 s. and every penny thereof, defendeth Nicholas, who is 
here, against Eichard, who is there, and against his suit and 
all that he surmiseth against him, and well he confesseth 

* This last sentence is not in all MSS. 



46 LA COURT DE BARON. 

cel trenche e la quantité ^ de lauantdite deuise ^ e même le 
fet e bien le auowe il corne celé que crest sur sa propre tere 
e ne mye sur la terre 'Richard ne de rien app^^rtenaurtt a sa 
terre ne a sa deuise ^ ; e bien vous mustre que bien ly lust 
trencher celé qi^antite e uncore celé que est remise '^ a sa 
valunte ; e que ceo seit vérité prest sumus de auerer.^ 

Ideo inquiratur. 

E lenqueste passa même le jour pur Nichol e pur ceo 
fut agard que 'Richard agagast la mercy uers le seignior, e 
que il feit les amendes uers Nichol pwr sa fause pleynte. 



De bestes occis ou férues.* 

[23] Sire seneschall, Eobert le Seriaunt de P.^ que ci est se 
pleynt de B. de G.^ que la est, par la reson que le porcher 
le seign^^r Richard -par noun com il tent les pors le seign^r 
en le champ de P,^ en la pees deu e en la pees le seignitr, 
la vient même cely B.^^ oue son arke de yf portauwt en sa 
meyn très setes e un boson " e tendi son arke e treit de une 
sete barbie un meyr ^^ porc del age de deuz aunz e de pris de 
vj. s.^^ e de même celé sette ferit le porc au quer ^^* issique il 
morust tot après a son damage de x. s.^^ e hunta^e de demi 
marc.^^ Si conustre etc. 
Defense Tort e force ^^ e la pees le seigniir enfreynt e ses damages 

de X. s. e huntage de demi marc e de checuti dener e quant 
que est encou?2tre la pees defend B.^^ que ci est encountre le 

' reconust celé trenche e la quantité C. reconust celé devise trenche 
de la quantité N. la trenche de celé quantité X. sim. S. ^~^ Om. SX. 

'' Here in the whole work cornes to an abrupt end in the middle of a page, 
and then without interval Incipit summa que vocatur Judicium Essoniorum 
^ Add per la ley E. Thereupon in E the defendant successfully makes his 
law and the plaintiff is in mercy. CNSX agree with A in sending the case 
to a jury, but do not report a verdict. ^ De porc occis en son pasture. 

E. De porco oeciso S. No heading X. ' de Pyrie C. de Pirie E. 

Rauf de Pirye le sériant N. » Bernard Godard CN. T. de B. X. T. 

de C. X 9 de Pyrie E. de Pirye N. •« Bernard CN. " e 

un bozoun CES. Om. e un boson X. '^ ^eyr CE. neir NX. '^ v. s. 
N. iiij. s. S. '^ le porc deke au queor C. sim. E, le porc par my le 

quer N. '^ a damage le seignur de xx. q.N. '" In S, where the 

damage is laid at four shillings and the shame at a half-mark, there is a 
note in the ynargin, Nota plus nocere dedecus quam dampnum ut hie. 
'' Torte non reson X, Ins. c la pes deu N. ''" Bernard CN. 



THE COUET BARON. 46 

the cutting of this quantity of the said boundary and the 
said deed and well he avoweth the boundary as being upon 
his own proper land, and not on the land of Kichard nor in 
any wise appurtenant to his [Eichard's] land or his boun- 
dary ; and well he showeth thee that right lawful was it for 
him to cut at his will that quantity and also all that is left ; 
and that this is truth, we are ready to aver.* 

Therefore be this inquired. 

And on the same day the inquest passed for Nicholas 
and therefore was it awarded that Kichard should gage an 
amercement to the lord and make amends to Nicholas for his 
false plaint. 

Of beasts killed or struck. 

[23] Sir steward, the Serjeant of Pprie] Kobert by name, who 
is here, complaineth of B[ernard] G[odard], who is there, for 
that whereas the swineherd of the lord, Eichard by name, 
was keeping the lord's pigs in the field of Pprie] in the peace 
of God and the peace of the lord, came the said B[ernard] 
with his bow of yew, carrying in his hand three arrows and 
a bolt, and bent his bow and shot with a barbed arrow a 
black pig of the age of two years, price 6 s., and with the 
same arrow struck the pig right in the heart, so that at once 
it died, to his [the lord's] damage of 10 s. and shame of a 
half-mark. If confess etc. 

Tort and force and any breach of the lord's peace and 
his damages of 10 s. and shame of a half-mark and every 
penny thereof and all that is against the peace, defendeth 
B[ernard], who is here, against the Serjeant E[obert] of 



» A variation makes the defen- by his law and the plaintiff is in 
dant offer to aver his defence ' by the mercy, 
law ' ; whereupon he acquits himself 



47 LA COURT DE BARON. 

sériant R. de P.^ qe la est e encountre sa sute e qi^^nt que 
yli mette sur, que unkes teu porc ferist del age de deuz 
aunz e de pris de v. s. de sete barbie ^ou de gabste^ 
occist ne treit sicom il ad uers ly counte ; e de ceo est il 
p?'est de ly aquyter en tûtes maneres que ceste curt agarde "^ 
que aquyter se dey t. 
^ Ideo ad legem,*^ 



De dette détenue.' 

[24] Sire seneschall, Thomas le Lorimcr que ci est se pleynt 
de Esteuene le Gaunt(?r ^ que la est, que atort ly deteynt 
xl. s. que ily deit les queus ily presta -par m.u\t grant amytie 
e grant especialte teu jour ^ furent iiij. aunz ^^ passez, e les 
queus ily dust prestemeni ^^ au^r rendu a la Pasche procheyn 
suant après saunz nul countredit ou nul delay, dount atort *^ 
les ad taunt de tens detenu e unkore les détient a son 
damage de xx. s. e hnntage de demi marc.^^ Si conustre ^^ 
etc. 
Defense Tort 6 forco ^^ e quant que a tort appent defend Esteuene 

que ci est encountre T. que la est e ses damages de xx. s. e 
huntage de de7?û marc e de checu?^ dener encountre luy e 
encountre sa sute e quant que ili mette sur ; e vous prie, 
sire seneschall, ke il puisse requiter ^^ un jour de amour oue 
même cesti Thomtis si vous pleist. 

E nus le vous garantums,*^ fet le seneschall, issi que 
vous seiez une gent entre ci e la p?^ocheyne curt,^^ sauue le 
dreyt le seignior en tûtes choses ^^ ; e si vous ne estes,^^ que 
vous seiez en le estât que vous estes ore.^* 

' Robert de Pyrie C. ^^ ou galache N. ou de nul autre arme X. 

sim S. Oni. E. * N ends the case here with etc. ^—^ Thomas 

fet le seneschal ceste curt agard ke vous soiez a une ley oue vostre sisime 
mam. Sire volunters. Plegges. X. S accord, subst. ^ Encoupement de 

dette atort retinue N, No heading X. ^ le Teynturer N. ^ le di- 

manche de la Paske Florie X. le dimeine de Palmes S. '" treiz aunz C. 
" pleynement X. sim. S. '^ Ins. e a non reson X8. " Ins. e 

hounte de x. s. C. damage e hontage de demy marc e j)lus X. sim. S. 
'^ S concludes the formula. '^ Tort e nonreson XS. '^ recoyller C. 

requyllir E. recoillir SX. '^ grauntoms C. grauntoums E. sim. NSX. 

is-i!) o^j Y. 20 c gj yQ^s Yio estes accordez C. sim. NS. ^' Add 

e par meymes. Sire vostre mercy = X, sim. S. 



THE COURT BARON.' 47 

Pprie] who is there and against his suit and all that he 
surmiseth against him, that never did he strike such a pig of 
the age of two years or price of 5 shillings with a barhed 
arrow or a Welsh * arrow [or any other arm] nor kill nor 
shoot at it as he has counted against him ; and of this ready 
is he to acquit himself in all such wise as this court shall 
award that acquit himself he ought. 
Therefore to a law. 

Of debt detained. 

[24] Sir steward, Thomas Lorimer, who is here, complaineth 
of Stephen Glover, who is there, that wrongfully he detaineth 
from him 40 s. which he oweth him, and which he lent him 
by reason of great friendship and very special cause ^ on 
[Palm Sunday] four years ago, and which he ought to have 
readily repaid at Easter next ensuing without any contra- 
diction or delay, but which he hath wrongfully detained for 
such a time and still detaineth, to his damage of 20 s. and 
shame of a half-mark. 

Tort and force and all that to tort belongeth, defendeth 
Stephen, who is here, against T[homas], who is there, and 
his damages of 20 s. and shame of a half-mark and every 
penny thereof against him and against his suit and all that 
he surmiseth against him ; and he prayeth thee, sir steward, 
that he may have a day of love with the said Thomas if it 
please thee. 

And we grant it thee (saith the steward), so that ye be at 
one between now and the next court, saving the right of the 
lord in all things ; and if then ye be not at one, ye shall be 
in the same estate that ye now are in. 



* See above, p. 35, note a. technical sense a 'specialty debt,' 

^ It will be seen that the text here but an allegation of a special reason 

introduces the term cspecialte. We for the loan seems considered 

cannot say that the debt was in any desirable. 



48 LA COURT DE BARON. 

De dififamacion.' 

[25] Sire seneschall, William de Weston^ que ci est se pleynt 
de Johan de M.^ que la est que il encountre ^ la pees le 
seignur ly ad defame en plusurs lus envers plusurs bone 
genz du pay e sa franche leute en mult de maneres enblemy 
en tauTit que ily appella laron * e deleaus e quant que beu 
ly fut hors pris soulement son dreit nouw, par unt que il est 
tenu autre que estre ne dust ou estre ne soleit, a ses damages 
de xl. s. e hnniage de xx. s. Si conustre etc. 
Defense Tort force ^ defend Johan que ci est encountre W. que 

la est e la difïamacion e les damages de xl. s.^ e de checuri 
dener e quant que yly mette sur ; e p^-est est de sey aquyter 
en totes les maneres que ceste curt agard que aquyter se 
deit. 

^ Beus amys, fet le seneschall, retrez vous ; la curt em- 
parlera. 

Sire, volunters.^ 

Beus seigm^rs ^ vous que estes ^^ de ceste curt cornent 
vous semble que Johan ceo est défendu. 

Sire, fet un Henry de C.,^^ il nus semble que ^^il se est 
défendu encountre Willame sicom fere dust e nemye ^^ en- 
countre sa sute, e pur ceo vous lur durrez ^"^ Yostre auis. 

Beus amys Johan, fet le seneschall, vous auez respondu 
en ceste curt a Willame de Westone de un defamacion douait 
vous auez enblemy sa leute e sa persone ^^ en plusurs mancres 
e vers plusurs e en ^^ plusurs bone genz e en pleyne marche,^^ 
e vous ly auez respondu par les paroles de la curt en ces ^^ 
poynz solum le usage de ceste curt, fors tauntsouleme/it que 
vous ne defendistis mye encountre sa sute come fere dussez 
taunt auer plus dit encountre Willame e encountre sa sute 



' No heading X. ^ j^ Malherbe C. Johan Malerbe N. In S the 

parties are Willame de H. and J. de N. ^ Ins. la pes deu e N. * apela 
chetif mauueys laron X. sim. S. * Tort e nonreson X, sim. S. 

^ e huntage de xx. s. N. In S the damage is put at twenty, the shame at 
ten shillings. ''~^ Om. X. ^ Ins. fet le senescal EN. ^" Ins. 

seutoures E. suters S. suiters X. " fet un C. C. fet un B. de C. N. 

'2~'^ il ad resonablement défendu les paroles de la court fors tantsolement 
ke il ne ad defeudi mye X. sim. S. ^^ dirrez CEN dites SX. '* e ly 
dispersonee E. ^^ e envers E. '^ maners si cum il ad envers vos 

conte S. sim.X, ^^ ses E. 



THE COURT BARON. 48 

Of defamation. 

[25] Sir steward, William of Weston, who is here, com- 
plaineth of John Malhcrb, who is there, that against the 
peace of the lord he hath defamed him in divers places to 
divers good folk of the country and his free lawfulness hath 
in many wise blemished insomuch that he called him 
thief and lawlessman ^ and whatever seemed good to him 
save only his right name, whereby he is deemed such as he 
ought not and is not w^ont to be, to his damage of 40 s. and 
shame of 20 s. If confess etc. 

Tort and force defendeth John, who is here, against 
William, who is there, and the defamation and the damage 
of 40 s. and every penny thereof and all that he surmiseth 
against him ; and ready is he to acquit himself in all such 
wise as this court shall award that acquit himself he ought. 

Fair friends (saith the steward), retire ye, for the court 
will take counsel. 

Willingly, sir. 

Fair sirs, ye who are [suitors^] of this court, how 
seemeth it to you that John hath defended this ? 

Sir (saith one Henry of C), it seemeth to us that he 
hath defended it against William as he ought, but not 
against his suit; therefore do thou give them thy opinion. 

Fair friend John (saith the steward), thou hast 
answered in this court to William of Weston touching a 
defamation whereby thou hast blemished his person in 
divers manners and in divers places and to divers good folk 
and in full market, and thou hast answered by the words 
of court in these points according to the usage of this court, 
save only that thou hast not defended against his suit as 
thou oughtest to have done, for thou oughtest to have said 
more, namely, ' against William and against his suit and 



* The words * leute,' ' deleaus ' thing more definite than ' disloyalty ' 
seem to hover between ' loyalty,' in our sense of that word ; it is to 
' disloyal,' on the one hand, and deny that he is a ' lawful man ' : 
• lawfulness,' 'lawless,' on the other it is to suggest that he is a 'lawless- 
hand. To say of a man that he is man,' that is, an outlaw. 
' deleaus ' is to accuse him of some- ^ Not in all MSS. 



49 LA COUET DE BARON. 

e quant que ily mette sur ' ; e pur ceo agard ceste curt que 
vous facez les amendes ners W. en amour ^ -par agard de 
bone gent ^ e que vous seiez en la mercj uers le seignior.'* 

Ci finissent les acoupemenz e les defenses de Curt 
de Bar on. ^ 



^ Ci comence cornent le seneschall deit parler ners 
ceus ^ ou nule hom??ie ne sue ^ fors le seignî^r pur le 
trespas. Ci put un jun hom?7ie veer cornent il deit 
sutillement pa/'ler.® 

Beus amy s Eobcri, fet le seneschall^ fet ^° nus venir ceus 
que deyuent fere lur lays a ceste journe, et fet ^^ nus maunder 
ceus que furent assignes a la dreynere curt que ils veignent 
garantir, e comandez nus ceus que quilierent '^ les jours de 
amours dekes a ceste curt e les destresses e les attacliemenz 
e ceo que appent a la journe. 

Sire, fet le baillif, veez ci Yostre demande en un es- 
crouwet.^^ 

Bien est; fete les venir. ^^* 



[26] "Richard le Draper vous attache ^^ a respoundre en ceste 
curt par ^^ un hutes leue a teu jour tel hour^ en tel an, pwr 
quey fu le utes leue, dites nus lencheson. 



' Om. taunt aver . . . mette sur SX. ^-a p^j. agard de ceste court E. 
Om. SX. * Add pur ce ke vous defaillistis a défendre contre sa suite. 

Plegges. X. sim. S. Add Johan trouez plegges. Sire volunters A et B et 
multis aliis. E. ^ A has no concluding luords. X e^ids the whole work 
here with Explicit curia baronura. ^ Here we become dependent on 

ACES. We take the text from A. In the iiitroductory part S varies so 
îvidely from A that we do 7iot collate it, hut print its contents below, at p. 58. 
' eus E. ** ne fet sewte E. ^ deyt soul parler e encouper en la 

court E. >» fetes CE. " fetes CE. '2 quillerunt C. 

requyllerent E. »3 q^ ^gg^ escrowe E. •* Bon est fet le venir C. 

Bon est fete pees etc. E. '^ y^^g q^^qc^ attache C. sim. E, '« pur C. 



THE COUEÏ BARON. 49 

all that he surmiscth ' ; therefore doth this court award 
that thou do make amends to William in love by the award 
of good folk and that thou be in mercy against the lord. 

Here end the charges and defences in a court 
baron. 



Here beginneth how the steward shall speak 
against those who are not accused by any man 
save the lord on account of the trespass. Here- 
withal may a young man see how he shall speak 
with subtlety.* 

Fair friend Eobert (saith the steward), cause to come 
before us those who ought to make their laws at this 
sitting, and cause us to be informed of those who were 
essoined at the last court that they may warrant [their 
essoins,] and send before us those who received love-days 
[for atonements to be made] before the day of this court, 
and the distresses and the attachments and all that 
belongeth to this day's session. 

Sir (saith the bailiff)? see here what thou demandest in 
a scroll. 

'Tis well ; bid them come. ^ 

[2G] Eichard Draper, thou art attached to answer in this 
court for a hue raised, such a day, hour and year. Where- 
fore was the hue raised ? Tell us the cause. 



» Or ' shall speak when he is prosecutor and press for fines and 
alone.' The steward has now to amercements, 
assume the character of a public ^ Or ' 'Tis well; proclaim the peace.' 



50 LA COURT DE BARON. 

Sire nus ' diom^s tut pleyneme?zt qe a teu jour ne a tel 
hourg ne de denz la nuyt ne uncore en cel an coment vous 
me mettez sur ne fu ^ hutes ne crie leue ne -par moy ne par 
nul des meynes, e vus prie ententiuem^nt que ceo seit 
enquis.^ 

E dist lenqeste Willam fit le hutes e le crie. Pur quey 
il demurra en lamercy "^ pur le trespas u^rs le seigm/r, e que 
il se purchace dreit uers W. son vesyn par agard de ceste 
curt.^ 

[27] Ou estes vus William le Lorim^r.^ 

Sire veez moy ci. 

Vous fûtes assoigne a le dreynere curt,^ e sur ceo estes 
assis en ceste curt ^ saunz garantir vos^re assoigne, pa?- 
unt que ceste curt agarde que vous seiez en la mcrcy. E 
de autre part fet nus est entendre que vous auez enfreynt 
lassise de payn, come^it volez vous aquyter. 

Sire, ieo reconu que ieo auey ore dreyn akun payn par 
auenture que ne fu pas fet ne furny solum lassise. 

William s^rve nequam ex ore tuo te judico.^ E pur ceo 
agard ceste curt que vous seiez en lamercy. 



[28] 10 Willam le Taylour il vous fust agardee a fere une ley 
a cest court pur lassise de cerueyse enfreynte estes vous 
venus cum vener dussez. 

Sire oyl veez mey cy prest afere ma ley. E la fyst. E 
pur ceo ala il quites. 



[29] Thomas le Pessouner ^^ vous estes attache a respondre 
en ceste curt pur quey a teu jour tut outre a la jorne ^^ ven- 
distis en pleyn marche pessoun puaunt e purri e en totes 

* Ins. vous es. ^ an cum vos dites si pleisir vos est ne fu S. 

^ prie pur deu que ce soit ententivement enquis des veisins. Et ideo inqui- 
ratur S. No verdict in S. *~* e Water sun veysin quites E. C accords 

with A. 6 le Mercer E. le Pestour S. '-« Om. S. ^ Om. 

the quotation S. '" This plea is not in AC. *' le Folur S. 

'2 tut outre a la jornee C. tut outre a jornee S. 



THE COURT BARON. 50 

Sir, we tell thee right fully that never on such a day or 
hour, nor at night, nor at any time within this year, as thou 
surmisest, was hue or cry raised by me nor by any of mine, 
and we pray thee earnestly that this be inquired. 

And the inquest saith that William raised the hue and 
cry. Wherefore he remaineth in mercy for the trespass 
against the lord ; and let him purchase right against Walter 
his neighbour ^ by award of this court. 



[27] Where art thou, AVilliam the Lorimer ? 

Sir, see me here. 

Thou wast essoined at the last court, and yet thou art 
seated in this court without warranting thy essoin. Where- 
fore this court awardeth that thou be in mercy. And 
besides this it is given us to understand that thou hast 
broken the assize of bread. How wilt thou acquit thyself? 

Sir, I confess that peradventure I had of late a loaf or 
so that was not made or baked according to the assize. 

Out of thy mouth will I judge thee, William, thou wicked 
servant.^ Wherefore this court awardeth that thou be in 

mercy. 

[28] William the Tailor, at the last court it was awarded 
that thou shouldest make a law at this court as to breaking 
the assize of beer. Art thou come as come thou oughtest 
to? 

Yes, sir ; see me here ready to make my law. (And he 
made it ; therefore goeth he quit.) 

[29] Thomas the Fishmonger, thou art attached to answer 
in this court, wherefore on such a day {and so forth, naming 
the day) thou didst sell in full market fish stinking and 



» See above, p. 21. Richard has ** The steward betakes himself to 

before now laid the blame on Walter his Vulgate, 
his neighbour. 



VOL. IV. G 



51 LA COURT DE BARON. 

manures coru?7zpu ^ encountre le establiseme7?t de la vile, 
cest asauer que nul pessouner ^ ne deit si longement pur cher 
vendr<? son pessuw retenir que il deueigne puant e purri e 
en aukun manere corumpu dount lem puisse receyure mal 
ou damage ou enfermete de cors ; dount assez est testmoigne 
■par bone gent de la vile que plusurs genz de la vile par le 
puour e par la corupcion de vostre pessoun que a teu jour 
fu vendu en eurent ^ damage e grant enfermete de cors ; 
coment volez vous amender ceo ^ trespas. 

Sire, pur bon pessoun e nouelement pris e saunz nul 
manere de corupc?'on le achatay, e pur ceo le vendi.^ 

Thomas bien est veirs que pur bon pessuw e nouel e 
saunz corupcion le vendistis,*^ mes jeo die bien que pur le 
longe détenue que vous le deteinstes pur cher vendre dénient 
le pessoun puant e purri ; tel fu le pessou?i que vous mey ^ 
vendistis e a ceo me respoundrez vous.^ 

Sire, que le pessoun fu bon e neynt purri ne corumpu le 
jour de marche quant jeo le vendi ne ^ unkes nul homme 
par encheson de cel pessoun mal ne damage ne enfermete 
de cors ne ^^ encorut me mette jeo bien en la vile.^^ 

Ideo inquiratur. 

E lenqueste passa encountre ly etc,'^ 



[30] Esteuene le Carpenter, vous estes attache a respoundre 
en cest curt a un estraunge homme ^^ pur gref trespas que 
vous li feistes de denz vos^re poer e encountre la pees le 
seign?^r ^'^ fet a le estraunge, de ki nus surdera lamerci. Sire 
Esteuene, trouez plegges. 
Sire, volunters.^' 

' Om. e en totes maneres corumpu S. ^ peschir C. peschour S. 

^ Ins. mal e S. ■* le not ceo S. ^ Sire si pleisir vos est pur bon pessoun 
e saunz puur la vendi et saunz nulemanere de corrupcioun la chatai al havene 
de C. e pur tel le vendi S. ^ ahatastes C. vendistes S. '' me C. 

le E. ^ a ceo me respounderez S. a ceo responez E. ^ Bis. que S. 

*" ne repeated A. " me met jo bien en la jurée S, which gives no verdict. 
'■■^ Add ideo in misericordia C, et ideo in misericordia pleg' E. '^ Ins. que 
ci est S. '^■~''' Coment est cete besoigne aie, estes vous une gent. Sire 

oyl sauue le dreit le seignur fet le estrange. De ky nus surdra la mercy. Sire 
de Estivene, C. sim. S, adding StcpheiVs assent to the statement that the 
amercement is to come from him.. In E also there i& a compromise. 



THE COURT BARON. • 51 

rotten and in every wise corrupt against tlie establishment 
of the vill, to wit, that no fishmonger do for the purpose of 
selling more dearly retain his fish so that it becometh 
stinking and rotten or in any wise corrupt, whereby one may 
receive harm or damage or sickness of body ; and as to this 
it is sufficiently testified by good folk of the vill that divers 
folk of the vill by reason of the stench and corruption of 
thy fish, which thou soldest on such a day, have had 
damage and great sickness of body. How wilt thou amend 
this trespass ? 

Sir, for good fish and newly caught and without any 
kind of corruption, I bought it, and for such I sold it. 

Thomas, right true it is that for good and new fish and 
without corruption thou boughtest it, but I tell thee well 
that by reason that thou didst long keep it to sell it more 
dearly did it become stinking and rotten. Such was the 
fish that thou soldest, and to this wilt thou answer ? 

Sir, that the fish was good and not rotten or corrupt on 
the market day when I sold it and that never by reason of 
this fish was any ill or damage or sickness occasioned, of 
this I freely put myself on the vill. 

Therefore be this inquired. 

And the inquest passed against him. [Therefore be he 
in mercy. Pledges etc.] 

[30] Stephen Carpenter, thou art attached to answer in this 
court to a stranger [who is here] for a grave trespass which 
thou didst to him within thy^ power and against the peace of 
the lord given to the stranger, from which an amercement 
will accrue to us. Sir Stephen, find pledges. 
That I will, sir. 



* Perhaps it should be ' within our power,' i.e. within the court's juris- 
diction. 



o 2 



52 LA COURT DE BARON. 

[31] Elys de la Fonteyne, vus estes attache a respoundre en 
cest curt ipur quey en despit le seignur deneyastes vendre 
ceruojse au baillif que ci ' al hus ^ le seign^tr a son desonour. 
Sachez bêle amy que nus volomits auer moût pleynement 
les amendes. 

Sire jes fray quant que ceste curte agard que fere 
deueray que ceo jour que le baillif me mist sur ^ne duse 
deneyer de vendre "^ cemojse al hus ^ le seignt^r ne nul 
houre de jour ne de la nuyt ne fu ceruoyse en mon 
poer.^ 

Et inquisitum fuit e lenqueste passa encountre luy. 
Ideo etc.^ 

[32] Wilh'am le Lunge, vous estes attache a respondre en 
ceste curt pttr quey la dreynere fez que vous fûtes al molyn 
le seigm^r -pur Yostre ble moudre, enportates le tonue en 
grant preiudice le seignur e en son despit. 

Sire, ceo fu ^ pur obliaunce e necligence e noun pas 
en preiudice le seign^^r ne en son despit, e su prest de 
amender. 

Le agagez.^ 

Sire volunters. 

[331 Geffrey de la More, vous estes attache a respondre en 
ceste curt pur quey vous entrastes le parke le seign^^r ^^ oue 
deus leuereres e oue Johan Yostre venour ^* e lenz chastes a 
vos^re volwite demeyne, preistes ceo que prendre voilleistes 
e lessates ceo que lesser vodrez en grant preiudice le seignwr 
e en son despit e encountre la f?^anchise que il ad de par 
ïiostre seign?ir le rey de illukes auer ^^ son parke com sa 
chambre, ^^ coment volez vous ceo trespas amender, desicom 
le rey defend sur sa greuouse forfeture de x. libr. que nul 

' ke cy est C. que la est S. ^ oes CS. ^~* ne duse deneyr de ven- 
dre C. que jeo ni ly deneya vendre E. ne li denoiai servoise a vendre S. 
^ oes CS. ^ Add ne en ma poeste S. ' Ideo in miserieordia C. 

S has no verdict. ** Sire suffit fut ceo fut C. Sire fet il si issint ferist 

ceo f u S. ^ Agagez la mercy C. E vos nos agagez la merci S. 

'""" a ij. moetes des chiens E. '2~''* soun park propre com sa chaum- 

bre C. sa propre warrenne E. sa fraunche wurrenne S. 



THE COURT BARON. 52 

[31] Ellis atte Well, thou art attached to answer in this 
court, wherefore in despite of the lord thou didst refuse to 
sell beer to the bailiff, who is here, to the use of the lord, 
and this to the lord's dishonour. Know this, my good friend, 
that we will have right full amends. 

Sir, I will do whatever this court shall award that do I 
ought [to prove that] on the day that the bailiff surmiseth 
I refused not to sell beer to the use of the lord nor at any 
hour of day or night was there beer in my power. 

And this was inquired and the inquest passed against 
him. Therefore [he is in mercy]. 



[32] William Long, thou art attached to answer in this court, 
wherefore the last time thou wast at the lord's mill to grind 
thy corn, thou didst carry off the toll to the great prejudice 
of the lord and in his despite. 

Sir, [if so it was] it was by forgetfulness and negligence 
and not in prejudice of the lord nor in his despite, and ready 
am I to make amends. 

Find gage for them. 

That will I, sir. 

[33] Geoffrey of the Moor, thou art attached to answer in 
this court, wherefore thou didst enter the lord's park with 
two greyhounds and with John thy huntsman and when 
within didst hunt at thy will, and take what thou wouldest 
take and leave what thou wouldest leave, to the great preju- 
dice of the lord and in his despite and against his franchise 
which he hath from our lord the king of having his park 
there [as much his own] as his own chamber. How wilt 
thou amend this trespass, whereas the king enjoineth on 
pain of his grievous forfeiture of £10 ^ that none do enter 



^ A clause common in royal those who infringe the franchises 
charters denounces a penalty against thereby granted. 



53 LA COURT DE BARON. 

hom7?ie ni entrc^ de chacer ou de bestes prendre si noun a 
la volunte le seignw. 

Sire, jeo su prest a fere quant que ceste curt agarde 
que fere deuerey que unkes par mey ne par nul de mes 
leuereres ^ ne fu nule manere de beste prise sicom vous moy 
mettez sur, noun pwr ceo^ ke jeo ne reconu bien que mes 
deus leuereres eschaperent hors de la meyn mon petit 
gareion pur son noun poer que me suist ^ dek^s a le parke e 
illuk^s entray a une brecke ^ que jeo trouay iprentement 
use e pursuy mes leuéreres e le requily ^ issi que mal ne 
damage ne^ nule manere de beste saunage^ a celé feze 
pnsterent ® ne unkes deuant ne unkes puys, e si vous 
jugez ceo pur trespas prest su de fere les amendes.^ 

E nus vous asseom jour '^ a la procheyne curt de parler ^^ 
de les amendes. 

[34] Willame de E. vous estes attache a respoundre en 
ceste curt pur quey vos^re fiz que est vos^re meyn past 
entra le gardyn le seigni^^r outre les murs que sunt endressez 
enviroun ^^ e leynz fu troue teu jour tel houre e poumes e 
peyres de checun manere de frut enporta a sa volente a 
vos^re meson e la furent il trouez par le baillifs ^^ que les 
nus présentèrent ^^ ; coment volez vous le trespas amender. 

*'^ Sire que unkes nule manere de frut par moy enporta 
fray qwant que ceste curt agard que fere deuerey. ^^ 

Willame au meyns vous ne poez dédire que il ne fu 
lenz troue e deuerse manere de frut enporta ''^ a sa 
volunte.'^ 

Sire, bien est veyrs par quey ieo me mette '^ en la mercy. 

^ par moi ne nul de miens ne encore ke plus est par nul de mes chiens S. 
^ noun pas pur ceo C. ne mie pur ceo S. ^ ke me suist C. que mey 

suy E. * garcoun en lauantdist boys e quant jeo me aperceu quil furent 

entre en lavandit boys jeo entrai par une brecke de la haie S. ^ mes 

chiens saunz corn' ou noise fere e sanz arcke e saunz seetes e bonerement 
les recoilli S. ** en E. ne C. ' Ins. ne autre S. ^ pristrent C. 

ne firent E. no verb S. ® Add vers mon seignor e le vostre S. '" Ins. 
deke C. '* enparler S. '^ que sunt bien e novelement fet tut en- 

viron le gardin S. ^^ baillif C. par le baillif jurée que ci est en present 

S. '■• présente C. S has nothing about a presentation of the fruit. 

15-16 gjj,g fg^ jj jgQ gyj prest de ferevolenters les amendes car par ma conseil 
ni entra onques ne nul maner de fruit nenporta S, ''~'^ en vostre 

meison S. '" Ins. lut S. 



THE COURT BAKON. 63 

to chase or take beasts unless it be at the will of the 
lord. 

Sir, ready am I to do what this court shall award that 
do I ought [to prove] that never by me nor my greyhounds 
was any manner of beast taken as thou surmisest against 
me ; not but that I will confess that my two greyhounds 
escaped from the hand of my small boy by reason of his 
weakness, or that I followed them to the park and entered 
there by a breach that I found already used and pursued 
my hounds and retook them, so that no damage w^as done 
to any manner of wild beast on that occasion or ever before 
or ever since ; and if thou adjudgest this a trespass, ready 
am I to make amends. 

And we assess thee a day at the next court to speak of 
the amends. 

[34] William of E., thou art attached to answ^er in this court 
wherefore thy son who is thy mainpast entered the lord's 
garden over the walls that are erected round it and was 
found inside it on such a day and hour, and carried oif 
apples and pears of every kind at his will to thy house, and 
there were they found by the bailiffs, who produced them 
before us. How wilt thou amend the trespass ? 

Sir, [to prove] that never was any manner of fruit carried 
off by me, I will do v>^hatever this court shall award that do 
I ought. 

William, at the least canst thou not deny that he was 
found inside and carried off divers kind of fruit at his will. 

Sir, 'tis true ; wherefore I put myself in mercy. 



54 LA COURT DE BARON. 

[35] Wautc^r de la More, vus estes attache a respoundre en 
ceste curt pur quey nutantrc e country la pees le seign^r * 
entrastes le niner le seign?^r ^ e deuerse manere de pessoun 
enpo/"tastes a vos^re volunte ^ ; come?2t volez vous aquyter 
ou fere les amendes, kar sachez key ke ^* pi^rsuist uers vus ^ 
vous serriez en peril de vie e de menbre ; ore vous coun- 
seillez. 

^ Sire, ma îemme ad ju countrelyt ^ un moys enterement 
que unkes mangast ne bust que luy plust, e pur le désir que 
ele aueyt de manger de un perche me acostay a la rude 
de cel uiuer ^ pur prendre une perche seulement ; e que 
autre pessoun ne pris ne enportay su prest a fere quant que 
vous moy agardez. 

Fet le seneschall, pur ceo que a lautre jour donastes 
demy marc pur auer un enqueste, ore entendez vous que 
nus le auomîts oblie ^ ; vodrez vous ore auer autre lay ; si 
agarde ceste curt que vous seiez en la mercy le seignwr en 
dreit de uos ^^ plegges, etc. De autre part au meyns estes 
reconissant en ceste curt de une perche pris e enporte en 
autre manere que fere ne deverez, kar en plus honeste 
manere ipurriez estre venuz, dount en dreit de ceo estes en 
la merci, plegges etc. E de autre part a une lay ou '^ 
vos^re sime meyn que autre pessou/i ne enportastes a celé 
fiez ne al nul autre. 

Sire volunte rs. 

Et defecit in lege sua, ideo ter in -misencordiB, in uno 
die.^^ 

^^ [Sire jeo enparlerai a vostre congé. Ore a bon oure : — 
Sire ipur deu ne prenez mie a mal que jeo vos di la vérité 
coment jeo alai lautre soir en coste la rive de cel viver e 
regardai les pessouns que se juerent en cel ewe si bêle e 

' Ins. e la vostre [corr. nostre] S. "^ S enlarges on the excellence of 

the fishery. ^ e feistes vostre largesse pui tot en pais cum pardone 

[corr. par done] e par vente S, luhich further expatiates on the heinousness 
of the offence. * que ky E. ke ky ke C. ^ car pur voir le sachez 

qui s\vist en droit manere sor vos S. ^ An alternative version of this 

plea taken from S is given below. ' ad jeu contrelit C. ad coche 

sun lyt E. ^ acostay a la riuere de cel viver C. mey conselay aler a la 

ryuere de ceo viuer E. " avoms ceo oblie C. '" en droit de ceo C. 

" od jB. '^ Here ends C ivith Explicit Curia Baronum. '^ This 

alternative version of i he pica is given by S. 



THE COURT BAKON. 64 

[35] Walter of the Moor, thou art attached to answer in this 
court wherefore by night and against the lord's peace thou 
didst enter the preserve of the lord and didst carry off at thy 
will divers manner of fish [and didst make largess of it by 
gift and sale]. How wilt thou acquit thyself or make 
amends ? For know this, that were anyone to prosecute 
thee, thou wouldest be in peril of life and member ; so be 
advised. 

Sir, my wife was abed a whole month and never could 
eat or drink what liked her, and for the craving that she 
had to eat a perch she sent me to the brink of the preserve 
to take just one perch ; and [to prove] that no other fish did 
I take, ready am I to do what thou mayest award me. 

Saith the steward : For that on a former day thou 
gavest a half-mark to have an inquest, dost thou think that 
we have now forgotten this, and wouldest thou now have 
other law ? Therefore this court awardeth that thou be in 
the lord's mercy for this matter; thy pledges etc. But 
again, at the least thou art confessing in this court that thou 
hast taken a perch in other manner than thou oughtest, for 
in more honest way mightest thou have come by it ; there- 
fore for this reason art thou in mercy ; pledges etc. And 
yet again, thou must be at a law six-handed that thou didst 
not on this or any other occasion carry off any other fish. 

That will I, sir. 

And he failed in his law and so was in mercy thrice in 
one day. 

^[Sir, by thy leave I will imparl. Then afterwards 
he speaks thus : — Sir, for God's sake do not take it 
ill of me if I tell thee the truth, how I went the other 
evening along the bank of this pond and looked at the 
fish which were playing in the water, so beautiful and 

» An alternative version of the plea. 



55 LA COUKT DE BARON. 

si clere, et pur le grant désir que jeo avoi a une tenche que 
jeo me mis a la rive, e de mes meins souleme^it e tut 
pleinement saunz autre sutillite celé tenche pris e enportai 
e la cheison de ma covetise e mon désir \os dirai ; ma com- 
paingne que est ma feme avoit jeu encontre lit bien un 
mois entièrement si cum mes veisins que si sunt bien 
sevent que onques ne manga ne beu chose que lui pleust 
e pur le grant désir ke ele evoit amanger de une tenche 
men alai a la rive del viver pur aver une tenche soule- 
mewt, e que onques autre pessoun de vive/* ne pris ne 
enportai prest sui de fere qiianqne vos me garderez. 

W., fet le senescal, al meins aves reconu en ceste cort de 
une tenche pris e enporte en autre manere que fere ne 
deveriez, car en plus bêle manure i porrez aver a venu, par 
unt nos vos dioms que vos estes en la merci le seingnor, et 
dautre part a une lai od vostre sissime main que nul autre 
manere de peissoun ne pristes ne enportastes cel foiz ne nul 
autre. 

Sire a vostre pleisir.] 

[36] Willame le Lorimer, vous estes attache a respoundre en 
ceste curt par ceo que J. e T. que sourit vos se?'iaunz^ furu/it 
trouez fauchauwt le estuble le seigmtr en tel lu cértej^n 
encountrg la defense que comunaume^t est fet checnn an 
en ceste curt, e le estuble en tele manure enpoHerent la ou 
vous auiez comande, de quel estuble le prouost le seignwr 
poyt auer fet couerir ^ la bouery e la daeyre ^ que ore sunt 
descouerz ]^ar unt que le seigm^r en ad damage del auant- 
dite coue7^ture de xl. s. 

Sire, que unkes mes genz J. e T. par nouns le estuble 
de celé lu ne sierent par mon comandement ne enporterent 
me su prest a fere me aquyter par une lay oud taunz de 
genz com il me fu agar de a la procheyne curt passe. 

Et concessum fuit per senescallum. Par sa lay se 
aquyte. Ideo quietus recessit.'* 

' que sunt de vostre mainpast S. •^ recoverir S. ^ la charpen- 

terie le seignor sa daerie e sa bercherie S. ' In S Williavi behaves 

quite differently ; he disavows J and T quil ne furent a tel houre de ma mein 



THE COL'KT BARON. 55 

SO bright, and for the great desire that I had for a tench I 
laid me down on the bank and just with my hands quite 
simply, and without any other device, I caught that tench 
and carried it off ; and now I will tell thee the cause of my 
covetousness and my desire ; my dear wife had lain abed a 
right full month, as my neighbours who are here know, and 
she could never eat or drink anything to her liking, and for 
the great desire that she had to eat a tench I went to the 
bank of the pond to take just one tench ; and that never 
other fish from the pond did I take, ready am I to do [by 
way of proof] whatever thou shalt award me. 

Wplliam], saith the steward, at least thou hast con- 
fessed in this court a tench taken and carried away in other 
wise than it should have been, for thou mightest have come 
by it in fairer fashion. Therefore we tell thee that thou art 
in the lord's mercy, and besides this thou must w^age us a 
law six-handed that thou didst not take at that or any other 
time any other manner of fish. 

As your honour pleases.] 

[36] William the Lorimer, thou art attached to answer in 
this court, for that J. and T., who are thy servants [and thy 
mainpast], were found mowing the lord's stubble in such a 
jjlace against the general prohibition made every year in 
this court ; and the stubble they carried off whither thou 
hadst commanded them, with which stubble the lord's reeve 
might have covered the cow-shed and dairy, which now are 
uncovered, whereby the lord hath damage 40 s. in the matter 
of this covering. 

Sir, [to prove] that never did my folk J. and T. by name 
cut the stubble of that place by my commandment, nor carry 
it off, I am ready to acquit myself by a law with so many 
folk as were awarded me at the last court. 

And this was conceded by the steward. He was acquitted 
by his law and therefore went quit.* 

' In an alternative version he labourers hired but from day to day, 
denies that J. and T. were his and of this he'^puts himself on the 
mainpast, alleging that they were jury. 



66 LA COUET DE BARON. 

[37] Wauter Coket agarde vous fut deuenir a ceste curt ou 
vos^re sime mayn de vous aquyter que vos^re garcete ^ 
Juliane par nonn ne enporta nul herbe hors de pre le 
seignitr ; estes vous venuz com il vous fu agarde.^ 

Sire, oyl. 

Et fecit legem suam. Ideo quietus recessit. 

[38] ^ Eobert le Pestour, il vous fust agarde a la dreynere 
curt de estre a une lay oue vos^re syme mayn encountre 
Willam de Wodestoke pur ceo que vous ly supplantastes de 
un tonel de vin ; estes vous venuz com fere deuez. 

Sire, nanail. Jeo ne ay pas genz ci prest. 

E pur ceo agarde ceste curt que vous seiez en la mercy 
le seignior e que vous facez les amendes uers W. etc. 

[39] ^ Jordan de la Forde, il vous fut agarde de vous aquyter 
a ceste curt oue Yostre sime mayn que Johan le Messer ne 
troua pas vos^re jumente en les aueynes le seignur ; êtes 
vous venuz com fere deuez. 

Sire, nanail. 

E vous seiez en la mercy, plegges etc. 

[40] ^ Wauter de la Croiz, il vous fut agarde a la dreynere 
curt pur demy marc de auer un enqueste que vous ne 
coupastes nule cheyne en le boys le seignior si noun ap- 
purtenant a vos^re franc teneme?it e a Yostre com??tune. 
E pur ceo que lenqueste passa encountre vous agagez la 
mercy. 

Sire, volunters. 

[41] ^ Bernard de G., estes vous venu issi oue Yostre lay de 
vous aquyter que vous ne occistis poynt le porc mon 
seignur, 

past fors seulement a ma volente de jor en jor quant jeo de eus avoi affere 
cum en grange pur batre e que onque teu fet par moi ne furent que vos me 
metez sure me met jeo bien en la jurée de la vile. Et ideo inquiratur. 

* garce E. vostre auncele cest adiré vostre garce de vostre hostel S. 

* S gives the charge in greater detail. Walter puts himself upon the jury of 
the vill that the grass tvas not cut by his command or with his knowledge^ 
nor was it with his will carried to his grange or any place within his power. 
s Not in S. * Not in S. * Not in S. " Not in S. 



THE COURT BARON. 56 

[37] Walter Coket, it was awarded thee that thou shouldest 
come to this court six-handed to acquit thyself that thy girl, 
Juliana by name, carried off no grass from the lord's 
meadow. Art thou come as it was awarded thee ? 
Yea, sir. 
And he made his law. Therefore he went quit. 

[38] Eobert Baker, it was awarded thee at the last court that 
thou shouldest be at a law six-handed against William of 
Woodstock, for that thou supplantedst him of a tun of wine. 
Art thou come as come thou oughtest ? 
Nay, sir, I have not got folk so readily. 
And therefore doth this court award that thou be in the 
lord's mercy, and that thou make amends to W[illiam] etc. 

[39] Jordan of the Ford, it was awarded thee that thou 
shouldst acquit thyself at this court six-handed that John 
the Hay ward did not find thy mare in the lord's oats. Art 
thou come as come thou oughtest ? 

Nay, sir. 

Then be thou in mercy ; pledges etc. 

[40] W^alter of the Cross, it was aw^arded thee at the last 
court for a half-mark that thou mightest have an inquest 
[to prove] that thou didst not cut an oak in the lord's wood 
save such as v/as appurtenant to thy free tenement and to 
thy common. And for that the inquest passed against thee, 
give gage for the amercement. 
That will I, sir. 

[41] Bernard of G., art thou come here with thy law to acquit 
thee that thou didst not slay my lord's pig ? 



57 LA COURT DE BARON. 

Sire, nanail ; ieo ne puise mye quant a la journe de huy 
auer la gent invest, pur ceo que il sunt a la festes de V.^ 

Quey durrez vous pur aucr respit dekes a la procheyne 
curt. 

Sire, un bessaunt de or. 

E nus vous asseomz^s jour dekes a la procheyne curt. 

[42] 2 Thomas le Lorimer e vus Esteyuene le Gaunter, comewt 
est aie la bosoigne entre vous ; estes vous une genz. 
Sire, fet Thomas, oyl. 
Ky de vous nus agagera la mercy. 
Sire, fet Thomas, jeo. 
Ore le agagez. 
Sire volunters, plegges etc. 

[43] 3 Johan Malerbe, pur ceo que il vous fut agard ^ a la 
dreynere curt que vous feistes les amendes uers W. de 
Westone pur une fame que vous ly meistes sur ; estes vous 
une gent. 

Sire, oyl. 

De ky nus surdra la mercy. 

Sire, de moy. 

Ore le agagez. 

Sire, volunters, plegges etc. 

[44] -^Nichol^ de Hoo vus estes attache a respoundre en 
ceste curt pwr quey e par quel garaunt preistes vos^re 
animal ^ hors du ponefaude le seignî/r ou il furent enparkez 
pur vosfre trespas pur ceo que il furent trouez en les blez 
le seign?^r ; coment volez vous le trespas amender. 

Sire, il furent saunz manger e beyuere quatre jours e 
quatre nutz. e par cel encheson les prrse hors du ponefaude 
pur enbeyuerir les. 

Johan, p?/r quey ne furent il remenez. 

' feyre de C E. ' Not in S. ^ Not in S. * agardee E. 

^ This is much the same case as pi. 54 printed heloic from S. ' Robert E. 
' baste E. 



THE COURT BARON. 57 

Nay, sir, I cannot have the folk ready here at this clay, 
for that they are at the feast of [some other village]. 
What wilt thou give to have respite to another court ? 
A hezant of gold, sir. 
Then we assess thee a day at the next court. 



[42] Thomas Lorimer, and thou, Stephen the Glover, how 
has the husiness sped between you ; are ye at one ? 
Yea, sir, saith Thomas. 

Whether of you twain will give gage for the amercement ? 
I, sir, saith Thomas. 
Then give gage. 
That will I, sir ; the pledges are etc. 

[43] John Malerbe, for that it was awarded thee at the last 
court that thou shouldest make amends to W"[illiam] of 
Weston for a slander which thou didst put upon him ; are 
ye at one ? 

Yea, sir. 

From whether of you twain is the amercement to come ? 

From me, sir. 

Then give gage for it. 

That will I, sir ; the pledges etc. 

[44] Nicholas of Hoo, that art attached to answer in this 
court wherefore and by what warrant thou didst take thy 
animals out of the lord's pinfold where they were impounded 
for thy trespass because they were found in the lord's corn. 
How wilt thou amend the trespass ? 

Sir, they were four days and four nights without food or 
drink, and for that cause I took them out of the pinfold to 
water them. 

Jolm, why were they not put back again ? 



58 LA COURT DE BAROxV. 

Sire, jeo ne fu pas de ceo consaille. 
Johan, fetes les. amendes. 
Ideo in misericordia.^ 



2 Ici comence la seneschausie cornent le seneschal 
doit parler vers cens ou nul hom??ie ne suit fors le 
seignour. 

Baillif dit le senescal, fetes nos venir ceus ke deivent 
fere lur leis si poi?^t en iount que fere les doivent a ceste 
jornee, e autresi fetes nus mander ceus que furent essoignez 
a la dereine cort que les venent garantir, e aussi ceus qui 
pnstrent e recoillierent les jors damors desques a ceste cort 
e les destresces si point isoient e aussi les entachemenz e 
les prisons si yus en avez. 

Par foi sire, fet le baillif, veez ci tut Yostre demande 
escrit en ce roulle. 

Ceo est bien, fet le senescal. 



[45] Edonc, dit le senescal, ou est W. le Pestour. 

Sire, fet il, veez moi ci. 

Biaus amis W. vos feustes assoi/ignez, a la dereingne 
cort saunz garaunter vos^re assoi?zgne, e ceo ne deussez mie 
fere, paront que ceste cort agarde que vous soiez en la 
merci. E dautrepart vos estes ateint que vos avez enfreint 
lassise de pain, coment volez vos aquiter. 

Sire, fet il, jeo reconusse bien que jeo avoie ore derein 
par aventure enfreint lassise en aucun pain derei??gnement 
ke ele ne fu pas fet ne forni solum lassise. 

W. fet le senescal, pur ceo agarde ceste cort que vos 
soiez en la merci. 



' Explicit Curia Baronum Â. Here A C bring the whole work to mi end. 
''■ We "proceed to give so much of that version of the Second Part whicli is 
found in S, as does not correspond with ivhat is found in the other MSS. 



THE COURT BARON. 58 



iSir, that was not of my counsel. 
Jolin, make amends. 
Therefore be he in merc^^ 



^Here beginneth the Steward's Ofiice and how he 
shall speak against those who are sued by no one but 
the lord. 

Bailiff, saith the steward, cause to come before us those 
who ought to make their laws if there be any who ought to 
make them at this sitting, and also cause Us to be informed 
of those who were essoined at the last court, that they may 
come to warrant their essoins, and also those who took and 
received loVe-days for this court, and the distresses, if any 
there be, and also the attachments and the prisoners if thou 
hast any. 

By my faith, sir, saith the bailiff, see here all that for 
which thou askest written in this rolK 

'Tis well, saith the steward. 

[45] Then, saith the steward, where is W[illiam] Baker ? 

Sir, saith he, lo I am here. 

Fair friend W., thou wast essoined at the last court [and 
hast taken thy seat] without having warranted thine essoin. 
and this thou oughtest not to have done ; wherefore doth 
this court award that thou be in mercy. And again thou 
art attainted of having broken the assize of bread ; how 
wilt thou acquit thyself? 

Sir, saith he, I confess that of late I may have broken 
the assize by some loaf which was not made nor baked 
according to the assize. 

W[illiam], saith the steward, therefore doth this court 
award that thou be in mercy. 

* See footnote - on tlie opposite page. 
VOL. IV. H 



59 LA COURT DE BARON. 

[46] E VOS Eogcr del Ewe, yous feustes agarde a une lai fere 
a la derei??gne curt, estes vos venuz cmn fere devez. 

Sire, fet il, oil ; veez moi ici tut prest de celé lei 
pgrfere. 

E il fist la ley e pur ceo ala il quites e son adversaire 
en la merci.^ 



[47] Baillif, fet le senescal, que en est fet de Johan de la 
Fontaigne. 

Sire il est destreint pur sa defaute. 

[48] E que avez fet de W. le Templer. 
Sire il est destreint de venfr. 
Fetes les meuz destreindre. 
Sire volunters. 

[49] Quoi en est fet de W. de Nortune. 

Sire il est mis par gage e plegg^s de venir a ceste cort, il 
ne vient ne homme pur li. 

Fetes le mettre par meillor plegg<?s, e les pWmer 
plegg(?s attachez a respondre de ce qidl navoient pas etc. 

[50] Willame de la Suche vos estes attache a respondre en 
nostre cort pur quoi vostre jumente fu trove en les chaun& 
le seignur encontre nostre defense. 

Sire jeo me met en vostre merci, plegges etc. 

[51] E vos E. le Clerc vos estes attachez a respondre en ceste 
cort pur quoi vos berbiz fure//t trovez en le pre le seignur 
nutantre ij. fiez. 

Sire, fet il, jeo froi ce ke \os plet. 

Agagez la Taerci. c 

Sire, volunters. 

' Here follow m S hvo short cases : in one, a litigant loithdraws from 
his law and is amerced ; in the other, two litigants have made a compromise. 
They contain nothing that is not found elsewhere. 



THE COURT BARON. 51) 

[46] And thou, Roger atte Water, thou wast adjudged at 
the last court to make thy law ; art thou come as thou 
oughtest ? 

Sir, saith he, yea, for see me here full ready to make 
that law. 

And he made the law, and therefore he went quit, and 
his adversary in mercy. 

[47] Bailiff, saith the steward, what hath been done about 
John atte Well ? 

Sir, he is distrained for his default. 

[48] And what hast thou done about W. the Templar ? 
Sir, he is distrained to come. 
Have him better distrained. 
That will I, sir. 

[49] What has been done about W. of Norton ? 

Sir, he is put by gage and pledges to come to this court, 
and he hath not come nor anyone for him. 

Have him put by better pledges and be the first pledges 
attached to answer for not having him etc. 

[50] William de la Zouche, thou art attached to answer in 
our court wherefore thy mare was found in the fields of the 
lord contrary to our prohibition. 

Sir, I put myself in thy mercy. Pledges etc. 

[51] And thou, E. the Clerk, thou art attached to answer in 
this court why thy sheep were twice found by night in the 
meadow of the lord. 

Sir, saith he, I will do whatever pleaseth thee. 

Wage an amercement. 

That will I, sir. 



H 2 



60 LA COURT DE BARON. 

[52] E VOS W. de la Croiz vos estes attache a respondre en 
cest cort porqiioi vos porcs furent trovez en les aveines le 
seingnur une foiz nutantre. 

Sire jeo froi volunters vostre pleisir. 

[53] E vos Wauter de C. vos estes attache a respondre en 
ceste cort pur quoi xl. moutouns ensemblemewt od les 
berbiz furent trovez nutantre une foiz en , les aveines le 
seingnor, cornent volez le trespas amender. 

Sire, fet il, volenters amenderai le trespas en dreit de 
ceste chose a vostre pleisir. 

Si agagez la m^rci, fet le senescal, car droiture le 
condoune.^ 

Jeo sire, fet il, puis que droiture le condoune ' le frai 
volenters. 

[54] 2 E vos Joha7i de Lewe vos estes attachez a respondre 
en ceste cort pur quoi e par quel hardement e par quel 
garant vos p?'istes hors vostre owaille sanz congé e sanz 
comandement hors de enparkement le seingnor, covacni volez 
amender ceo grant trespas. 

Sire, fet il, si vostre pleisir vos est, il fure?it sanz 
manger e sanz beverie treis nuz e treis jors, e par achesoun 
de ceo les pris jeo hors lenparkem^nt pur les enbeverer. 

Johan, fet le senescaZ, pur quoi ne furent il remenez. 

Sire, si pleisir vos est, jeo ne fu pas de ceo conseille. 

Johan jeo vos di en bon foi ke vos frez hautement les 
amendes. 

Sire volent<?rs a mon poer. 

Venez doncqncs si nos agagez une merci. 

Sire volent ers. ^ 

[55] E vos Wauter le Parmenter vos estes attachée a re- 
spondre en ceste cort pur ceo que vos deniastes p7'endre 
vostre naam pur la dette que vos devez a J. de C. par 
agard de ceste cort, coment volez le trespas amender. 

* Corr. condamne [?]. - Compare pi. 44. 

5 S here gives pi. 26 a7id then pi. 55, 



THE COUKT BARON. 60 

[52] And thou, W. of the Cross, thou art attached to answer 
in this court wherefore thy pigs were found a first time by 
night in the oats of the lord. 

Sir, I will gladly do thy pleasure. 

L^^J And thou, Walter of C, thou art attached to answer in 
this court wherefore forty wethers together with the sheep 
were found by night a first time in the oats of the lord. 
How wilt thou amend the trespass ? 

Sir, saith he, I will willingly amend the trespass in this 
matter at thy pleasure. 

Then wage an amercement, for justice condemneth it. 

Sir, saith he, that will I gladly, since justice condemneth 
it. 



[54] And thou, John atte Water, thou art attached to 
answer in this court wherefore and by what hardiness and 
with what warrant thou without leave and without com- 
mandment tookest thy sheep out of the pound of the lord. 
How wilt thou amend this great trespass ? 

Sir, saith he, if it please thee, they were without food 
and drink three days and three nights, and for this sake 
took I them out of the pound to w^ater them. 

John, saith the steward, why w^ere they not put back ? 

May it please thee, sir, this was not by my counsel. 

John, in good faith tell I thee that thou shalt make full 
high amends. 

That will I, sir, to the best of my power. 

Come then, wage us an amercement. 

That will I, sir. 

[55"! And thou, Walter Parmenter, thou art attached to 
answer in this court for that thou didst resist the taking of a 
nam for the debt which thou owest to John of C. by award 
of this court ; how wilt thou amend the trespass '? 



61 LA COURT DE BARON. 

Sire a vostre volente. 

Biaus amis W. agagez la merci. 

Sire puis que autrement ne puit estre \o\enicrs. 

[56] E vos Wauter le Carpenter coment volez amender le 
trespas dont vos avez enfreinte lassise de pain ore iij. foiz 
encountre le comun estât de la vile. 

Sire, mes que vos ne prenez mie a mal jeo dedi tot 
pleinement que onques fors une foiz de iij. foiz que vos me 
metez sure ne fu lassise de pain enfraint de par moi en 
nule manere fors entan soulement que un pain fu trove en 
ma fenestre de meindre pris que estre ne deust. 

Wauter jeo vos di en bone foi que iij. foiz vos dient 
les assayors de pain que vos auez este de ce ateint, coment 
volez vos aquiter. 

Sire jeo enpa?'lerai a vos congez. 

De par deu, fet le senescal. 

Sire, fet Wauter, le trespas que hom me met seure me 
soit pardone vos agage un amerciement. 

E jeo le receif ; plegges etc.* 

[57] E vos Johan le Taillur vos estes attache a respondre 
en ceste curt pur plusurs vileines paroles que vos deussez 
aver esclandre le baillif le seingnor en grant despit le 
seingnor. Vos baillif queu est fet. Ne volez vos rien 
counter envers cest hom??ie. 

Sire, fet le baillif, si pleisir vos est nos sumz^s acordez 
e sûmes une gent. 

Biaus amis de ki nos sur dira lamerciement. 

Sire, fet il, de moi. 

Jeo voil bien fet le senescal. 

Ore la gagez si nos trovez plegges.'^ 



[58] E vos Geffrey de la More vos estes attache a respondre 
en ceste cort pur quoi ne esteiez mie a fere la vewe de une 

' S here gives pi. 30 and then 2^1. 57 . ^ S noie gives pi. 31, 32, 

33, 34, 35, 29, 36, 37, 58. 



THE COURT BARON. 61 

According to thy will, sir. 

Fair friend W., wage an amercement. 

That wdll I, sir, since it may not be otherwise. 

[5(y] And thou, Walter Carpenter, how wilt thou amend the 
trespass whereby thou hast broken the assize of bread thrice 
contrary to the common statute of the vill ? 

Sir, though thou may est take it ill of me, I deny right 
fully that more than once out of the thrice that thou sur- 
misest against me was the assize of bread in any wise 
broken by me, that is to say, save once when a loaf was 
found in my window of less weight than was right. 

Walter, I tell thee in good faith that the assayors of 
bread say that thrice hast thou been attainted of this ; how 
wilt thou acquit thyself ? 

Sir, by thy leave I will imparl. 

In God's name, saith the steward. 

Sir, saith Walter, let the trespass which is surmised 
against me be pardoned if I wage thee an amercement. 

I receive it. Pledges etc. 

[57] And thou, John Tailor, thou art attached to answer in 
this court for divers villain words with which, so it is said, 
thou didst slander the bailiff of the lord to the great despite 
of the lord. Thou baliliff, what has been done ? Wilt thou 
not count aught against this man. 

Sir, saith the bailiff, an it be thy pleasure, we have 
come to an accord and are at one. 

Fair friends, from which of you shall the amercement 
come? 

Sir, saith he, from me. 

So be it, saith the steward, therefore wage it and find 
us pledges. 

[58] And thou, Geoffrey atte Moor, thou art attached to 
answer in this court wherefore thou didst not come to the 



62 LA COURT DE BAROX, 

hide de terre ov les a>purte7iances en N. la qiielo W. le 
Marchant cleime cu;^ son dreit vers E. de C. dont mesmes 
celi E. demanda la vewe si cum nos comandames de par le 
seingnor e en vérité vos di que vos trespassates grevement, 
cornent le volez vos amender. 

Sire en totes les maneres que bon soit solum deu e 
droiture. 

Biaus amis Geffrei dreiture le voet e jeo mi assent que 
vos soiez en la merci de ceo que vos ne deignastes mie 
vener si cum vos avez le comandeme/it. Ore le nos agagez. 

8ire volenters. 



Ici comence le play de la coroune en cort de baron. 

Baillif. 

Sire. 

Fetes nos venir les prisons. 

Sire volunters, veez les ci. 



[59] Baillif. 

Sire, 

Pur quoi est cest hom/z^e pris. 

Sire pur une jumente quil prist en le champ de C. en 
autre manere que fere ne deust. 

Comewt avez non vos daunmestre.* 

Sire jeo ai a non W. 

Willame vos estes pris e atache en ceste cort pur une 
jumente que ci est en present que vos deussez aver larcen- 
usement pris en le champ de C, coment vos volez aquiter 
de ceste larcine e de totes autres. 

Sire, si nul homme veut seure vers moi de larcine ou de 
nul autre chose que soit encontre le pees le Eoi e sa coroune 

- J can make nothing ehe of this word. It is not daimcestie. 



THE COUKT BAKON. 62 

view of a hide of land with the appurtenances in N. which 
W. Chapman claimeth as his right against E. of C. whereof 
the said K. demanded a view * and we on the lord's behalf 
commanded one to be made. Of a truth I tell thee that 
thou hast trespassed grievously. How wilt thou make 
amends ? 

Sir, in all such wise as may be right before God and the 
law. 

Fair friend Geoffrey, the law willeth and I agree that 
thou be in mercy for that thou didst not deign to come as 
thou wast bidden. Therefore wage the amercement. 

That will I, sir. 



Here beginneth plea of the crown in court baron. 

Bailiff. 

Sir. 

Let the prisoners come before us. 

That will I sir. Lo ! they are here. 

[59] Bailiff. 

Sir. 

For what cause was this man taken ? 

Sir, for a mare which he took in the field of C. in other 
manner than he ought. 

What is thy name ? 

Sir, my name is W[illiam]. 

William, thou art taken and attached in this court for a 
mare, which is here present, which thou art said to have 
taken larcenously in the field of C. How wilt thou acquit 
thyself of this larceny and all others ? 

Sir, if any man will sue against me for larceny or any 
other thing that is against the peace of the king and his 

» In a real action the tenant has putc ; GeotTrcy was bidden to take 
demanded a view of the land in dis- part in the view. 



63 LA COUET DE BARON. 

jeo sui prest a défendre moi par mon cors que jo sui bons e 
liaus. 

W. ore me responez coment e 'par quele cointise 
avenistes vos a celé jumente, au meins vos ne poez desdire 
que ele ne fu troeve od vos e pur la vostre la vouastes. 

Sire jeo dessavou celé jumente que onques ne la vi avant 
ore. 

W., donc vos poez mult hardieme/it mettre en les bones 
genz de ceste vile que vos ne le emblastes pas. 

Sire, nanail, ils sunt les uns que ount le quer gros 
envers moi e mult me hoent par acheison de ceste fame que 
mest mis sure. 

W., qmdez vos que li ait nul que veut comander son cors 
e sa aime aui diables pur vos ov pur vostre amor ov pur 
vostre haunge : certes nanail, il sunt bone gent e leaus e 
vos hostez de ceste bone gent tuz ceus que vos avez en 
suspecion de vos mettre a dampnaciun, mes fetes bien e 
eiez deu avant vos oeuz e reconussez la vérité de ceste chose 
e des autres que fetes avez, e ne vos donez mie tut a lentis- 
sement du diable mes reconussez la vérité e vos nos troverez 
le plus merciables. 

Sire pur deu eiez pieté de moi, e jo vos reconustrai la 
vérité e me mettrai tut en vostre Haute. 

Willame par ma Haute vos ne avérez si droiture non. 
Ore dites ceo que vos volez e rien ne nos celez. 

Sire ma grant poverte e ma grant meseise e lentissement 
du diable me fist ceste jume/ite larcenouseme/it prendre e 
sovent me out autre chose fet fere que fere ne deveray. 

Deu le vos pardoint fet le senescal, W. au meins avez 
reconu en ceste cort que vos larcenusement pristes ceste 
jumente e ke plusurs autres maus avez fet. Nomez nos 
aucuns de vos compsiin gnons car il ne puet estre que vos 
navez eu compaingnie en vos maweises oeveres. 



THE COUET BAR(^N. 63 

crown, I am ready to defend myself b^^ my body that I am 
good and lawful. 

Wplliam], now answer me by what device thou camest 
by this mare ; for at least thou canst not deny that she was 
found with thee, and that thou didst avow her for thine 
own. 

Sir, I disavow this mare, and never saw I her until now. 

Then, Wplliam], thou canst right boldly put thyself 
upon the good folk of this vill that never thou didst steal her. 

Nay, sir, for these men have their hearts big against me 
and hate me much because of this ill report which is 
surmised against me. 

Thinkest thou, Wplliam], that there be any who would 
commend his body and soul to the devils for thee or for love 
or for hatred of thee ? Nay verily, they are good folk and 
lawful, and thou canst oust ^ from among them all those 
whom thou suspectest of desiring thy condemnation. But 
do thou what is right and have God before thine eyes and 
confess the truth of this thing and the other things that 
thou hast done, and give not thyself wholly to the entice- 
ment of the devil, but confess the truth and thou shalt find 
us the more merciful. 

Sir, in God's name have pity of me and I will confess to 
thee the truth, and I will put me wholly upon thy loyalty.^ 

William, by my loyalty thou shalt have naught but 
justice ! Say therefore what thou wilt, and conceal 
naught. 

Sir, my great poverty, and my great neediness and the 
enticement of the devil made me take this mare larcenously, 
and often have they made me do other things that I ought 
not to have done. 

God pardon thee, saith the steward. Wplliam], at least 
thou hast confessed in this court that larcenously thou 
tookest this mare and hast done many other ill deeds ; now 
name some of thy fellows, for it cannot be but that thou 
hadst fellowship in thy evil deeds. 

" You can challenge your jurors. ^ Or thy lawfulness. 



64 LA COUKT DE BARON. 

VeiToiemt'Ait sire, jeo noi onques compai/ignie en mes 
mauveises fez fors soulemcwt le malfe.^ 

W. volez autre chose dire ov autre chose conustre. 

Sire nanail. 

Baillif. 

Sire. 

Fet le retrere, si fetes lui aver le prostré. ^ 

[60] E vos W. de Multone vos estes p/is e attache en ceste 
cort pur le concelement de iij. boifs que vos avez larce- 
nussement ressettez puis la feste Seint Père le Adwincula 
jesques en sa, cornent volez vos aquiter. 

Sire, fet il, jeo les avou bien pur les miens e que les 
achatai frauncheme/ii pur mes den^rs en la feire de C. e 
que autre chose me met seure pr<?st sui a deffendre les cum 
les miens liaum(??it achatez. 

E puis que les achatastes en la feire de C. odue^ 
marchanz de diverses marchaundises e de diverse pais pur 
achater e vendre de vos deners liaume/it si cnm vos dites 
l)ur quoi les avez si celeme^t musse tant de tens ^ il semble 
que malement les avez purchace, il covent que vos vos 
aqz(itez en autre manere de si cu;?i iliad une maweise 
p?-esu77ipcioun, et de totes autres choses mettrez vos en le 
bone gent de ceste vile. 

Sire, nanail, jeo nai mester a ceo que me semble, de si 
CU771 jeo sui p7-est a défendre par mon cors les avantdites 
bestes cu7?i mon propre chatel. 

E jo di bien pur moi ke ci iliad nul qui ci soit 
que voille ceste chose p?-over sur vos ne mie pur ceo 
])ur la maweyse fame que vos avez de ceste chose e de 
plusurs autres nos avu??ius bone esperaunce e pwr voirs 
le sentums nos que vos êtes maleme/it avenu a ses 

' In Camb. Univ. Mm. i. 27, /. 128 a criminal confesses to having acted 

* par attisement de maufe.' ^ So in MS. just cited a justice gives 
judgment in the euphemistic i^hrase ' Baillif fetes ly aver le prestre ' 

* Corr. ou vint [?]. ■* In the treatise mi pleas of the croivn referred 
to above {Camb. Univ. Mm. i. 27, /. 128) there is a similar though longer 
conversation. In ansiuer to the question ivhy he kept the beasts sec7-etly, the 
accused replies : ' Sire je les ay tenu si closes pur engresser encountre la 
seson de la Seint Martin, kar grosse bestes sunt plus tost vendues ke ne 
sont megres.' 



THE COURT BARON. 04 

Of a truth, sir, never had I companion in my evil deeds 
save only the fiend. 

Wplliam], wilt thou say or confess aught else ? 

Nay, sir. 

Bailiff. 

Sir. 

Take him away, and let him have a priest. 

rgol And thou, W. of Multon, thou art taken and attp.ched 
in this court for the concealment of three oxen which thou 
didst larcenously receive from the feast of St. Peter at 
Chains until now. How wilt thou acquit thyself? 

Sir, saith he, I avow them as my own, and that I bought 
them freely with my money in the fair of C., and as to aught 
else that thou surmisest against me, ready am I to defend 
them as my own and lawfully purchased. 

And if thou didst buy them with thy money in the fair of 
C, whither come merchants with divers merchandises to 
buy and sell, as thou hast said, why didst thou hide them 
so secretly for so long a time ? It seemeth to me that thou 
didst come by them in some evil manner. It is seemly 
therefore, that thou shouldest acquit thyself in other wise, 
for that there is an evil presumption against thee ; and of 
[this and of] all other matters thou shouldest put thyself 
upon the good folk of this vill. 

Nay, sir, I am not put to that as it seemeth to me, 
for that I am ready to defend by my body the aforesaid 
beasts as my own proper chattel. 

And I say of a truth for my part, that if there be none 
who will prove this thing against thee, none the less on that 
account because of the ill report which thou hast as to this 
thing and other matters, we have good hope * and hold it 
for truth that thou didst come by these beasts wrongfully. 



* This expression of hope that decent, but what else can we make of 
the accused is guilty seems hardly our text ? 



65 LA COURT DE BARON. 

bestes. Ore responez en autre man^?e si vos quidez que 
bon soit. 

Sire oncore vos respoirîgne jo cum avant, que si iliait nul 
hom7??e que voeille p^/rsure vers moi que jo sui maleme^zt 
avenuz a ses bestes prest sui a défendre les aussi cum mon 
propre chatel liaument achate par mon cors. 

Sire, volez autre chose dire ov entrer en autre respons. 

Sire, nanail. 

Baillif. 

Sire. 

Fete le amen(?r a la pnson le Roi. 

[61] Baillif. 

Sire. 

Qui pursuit vers cest hom//?e. 

Sire, fet il, H. de C. 

Jeo sui ici prest. 

Ore contez vers li. 

Sire, fet il, jeo me pleing de Adam que la est q?/?l 
encontre la pees deii e la pees le Seingnor e la vostre que 
avez la pees agarder e ameintener vint teu jor ou an que fu 
nutantre tut droit al primer somoil e les hus de ma meison 
enginnusement overi e larcenusemewt ientra e felunesse- 
me^t cum felun e larcenusseme^it cum larroun ces choses 
dont jeo li vei ici en seysine prist e enporta e moi e ma 
femme des cordes fermement nos lia nomement nos mains 
e nos piez e si felunesseme?it que nos ne avumus poer en 
ceste vie de crier ne de nos meismes aider, tant cum il 
prist ceo que ci est en present e lenporta. Quant il avoit 
ceste felunie e ceste roberie fete en la manere que jeo vos ai 
conte senfui tantost a une conpaingnie qml avoit midt ^ 
prestement en costant en la meison Johan de C. que mult 
debonerement afforce de larroun fu resseu e recoilli e nome- 
ment pur mes biens quil enporta ; moi e ma fem?7ze iumes 



mlV. 



THE COURT BAEON. (if) 

Therefore, answer in some other wise if thou thinkest well 
so to do. 

Sir, once more I answer thee as before that if there be 
any man who will sue against me that I came by these 
beasts wrongfully, ready am I to defend them by my body 
as my own proper chattel lawfully purchased. 

Sir, wdlt thou say aught else or give other answer ? 

Nay, sir. 

Bailiff. 

Sir. 

Have him taken to the King's prison. 

[Gl] Baihff. 

Sir. 

Who pursueth against this man ? 

Sir, saith he, H. of C. 

I am here present [saith H. of C.]. 

Then count against him. 

Sir, saith he, I complain of Adam, who is there, that 
against the peace of God and the peace of the lord and thine 
who art charged to guard and maintain the peace, on such 
a day and year came he by night just at the time of first 
sleep, and fraudulently opened the doors of my house and 
larcenously entered and feloniously as a felon and larcen- 
ously as a larcener these things of which I see him here in 
seisin ^ took and carried away, and my wife and me tightly 
bound with cords, to wit, by our hands and our feet, and so 
feloniously that we had no power on earth to cry or help 
ourselves, and thereupon he took the things here present 
and carried them off. And when he had done this felony 
and this robbery in such wise as I have counted to thee, he 
straightway fled to a fellowship which he had right near at 
hand in the house of John of C, where he was right gladly 
received and harboured on account of the larceny and 
notably of my goods which he carried off. I and my wife 

* The stolen goods have been in seisin, a hand-having, back-bear- 
bound on to the back of the accused, ing thief, 
and he is counted against as a thief 



66 LA COURT DE EARON. 

la lies jesques a cler jor que mes veysins me hucherent a la 
charue ki del hus debriser se aparceurent e entrèrent ^ e moi 
e ma fem?7ie en la manere cnni jeo vos ai conte lies troverent 
si nos délièrent, e quant nos fumes déliez frescheme?zt 
levâmes hu e cri sur lui si cu??i sur felun, e suimes par la 
suite de ceste viles desques a lameisoun Johan deC. ou nos 
les trovamws enginnusseme?zt mussez e larcenussement 
ressette odvesques tot la roberie que ci est enp^-^sent. Si 
conifstre le voet bial nos est sil le dedist a tort le dedist, car 
jo sui prest de prover le envers lui par mon cors ou en totes 
les manures que ceste cort agarde que prover le deive sur 
lui cum sur felun. 

Edoncqwes dit le senescaL Adam vos estes pris e 
attache en ceste cort pur ceste draperie que ci est en^resent 
dount vos meismes estes en seysine que felunessem^nt cum 
felun e larcenusseme/it cu??i larroun pristes e enportastes 
nutantre si cum H. ad Yers vos counte, cornent vos volez 
aqmt^r. 

Sire, fet Adam, jo vos di tut pleineme/zt que cest 
draperie qui ci est enpresent me est adosse par mal engin 
faucement, e pur un mauueise coveitise pur moi mettre a 
maie mort noun pas pur mes désertes ne pur mon trespas 
que fet ai enz soulement e tut pleineme?it fausement e 
mauueisement pur moi liYcrer a maie mort, e que onqwes sa 
meisoun nutantre felunessemc?it cmn felon ne larcenusse- 
ment cwn larron ne entrai ne ceste draperie ne enportai me 
met jeo bien en la jurée de ceste vile, de bien e de mal 
communément. 

Ideo inquiratîtr. 

[62] Sire par mesme les moz e de mesme le jor e de mesme 
la nuit e de mesme le houre e de mesme lan e de mesme le 
lu certein se pleint H. que ci est de Johan de C. qui la est 
que il encontre. la pees deue la pees le seingnor etc. ressetta 
le devantdit Adam par la reison que il a sa meisoun odves- 
ques tut le draperie prise felunessement e larcenussement 

' Les veisins les hucherent a la clianie ke del heus debrise se aper- 
ceurent e entrèrent Mm. i. 27, /"• 127. 



tut: rouRT t.akox. 6(5 

we lay there bound until (la3i>roak, wlien my neighbours 
called me to the plough, and they perceived us through the 
broken door and entered and found me and my wife bound 
in such wise as I have counted to thee, and unbound us, and 
when we w^ere unbound we straightway raised hue and cry 
against him as against a felon, and pursued him with the 
8uit of this vill to the house of John of C, where we found 
him fraudulently hidden and larcenously received with all 
the pelf that is here before thee. If confess he will, fair 
that seemeth to us ; if he wdll deny, wrongfully he denieth, 
for ready am I to prove it against him as a felon by my 
body or in such other wise as this court shall award that 
prove it I ought. 

Then saith the steward : Adam, thou art taken and 
attached in this court for this drapery which is before us, 
whereof thou art thyself in seisin, that feloniously as a 
felon and larcenously as a larcener thou didst by night 
take it and carry it away as H. hath counted against thee. 
How wilt thou acquit thyself? 

Sir, saith Adam, I tell thee right fully that this drapery 
which is present was put on my back by falsehood and 
fraud and by evil greed against me, to put me to an evil 
death, not for any ill deserts of mine or trespass done by 
me, but simply and solely by falsehood and wickedness to 
hand me over to an evil death ; and that never did I enter 
his house by night feloniously as a felon nor larcenously as 
a larcener nor carry off these clothes, I willingly put 
myself on the jury of this vill alike for good and for ill. 

Therefore let an inquest be made. 

[02] Sir, by the same words and of the same day, night, 
hour, year, and place, complaineth H., who is here, against 
John of C, who is there, for that he, against the peace of 
God and the peace of the lord etc., received the aforesaid 
Adam, who was in his house with all the said drapery 
feloniously taken and larcenously carried away, and there 



vol,. IV. 



67 LA COURT DE BARON. 

enporte fu, e la fu ressette jesques atant que mesmes cesti 
H. odvesques la suite de ceste vile illoeques les pnstrent e a 
vostre prisoun lamenerent, sil le dédit atort le dédit etc. 
car il en est prest de prover le envers lui -par son cors ou en 
totes les maneres que ceste cort agarde ke prover le deit si 
tost cum il avéra sa dereine fet vers le devant dit Adam. 

E donc dit le senescal^ vos Johan de C. cornent yos 
volez aquiter de cel ressetteme?it e de totes autres feluns e 
maweis recettemeTzz. 

Sire, fet il, jo demand tut plein eme/it alowaunce e juge- 
ment soulement si jo sui tenu arespondre del recettement 
dont il se pleint ke un Adam li deust aver fet pnncipaument 
avant ke lavantdit A. soit atteint del principal fet ou 
noun. 

E donc dist le senescal, Johan fet nos est entendre que 
vos herbergez acune foiz tele gent par iij, nuiz entièrement 
ensemble encontre le statut de ceste vile, coment vos volez 
aquiter. 

Sire, fet il, sauf a moi mon p?*imer respons jeo me met 
bien tut pleinement en deu e en cest bone gent de bien e de 
mal communément que onqnes si bien non * ne herbergai a 
mon escient, si vos pri pur deu omnipotent que ceo soit 
qnis ententivement. 
Ideo inquirati^r. 

Ici finist le cort de baroun e le office le seneseaZ e 
après la plee de la corune solum le usage de cort de 
baroun. 

' Corr. si long tens [?] 



rilE COVET BARON. 67 

was h(^ rocoivod, until tho said TI. with tlio suit of tins vill 
caught them there and took them to thy prison ; if he will 
deny, wrongfully he denieth etc., for he [H.] is ready to 
prove it against him hy his body or in all such wise a,s thin 
court shall award that prove it he ought, so soon as he 
shall have made his deraignment against the said Adam. 

Then saith the steward : John of C, how wait thou 
acquit thyself of this receiving and of all other felonious 
and evil receivings ? 

Sir, saith he, I demand right fully allowance "^ and judg- 
ment merely whether or no 1 am bound to answer of this 
receiving, whereof he complaineth that one Adam hath done 
the principal deed, before that the said Adam is attainted 
of the principal deed. 

Then saith the steward : John, it is given us to under- 
stand that thou dost sometimes harbour such folk for three 
W'hole nights together against the statute of this vill. How 
wilt thou acquit thyself? 

Sir, saith he, saving to myself my first answer,^ I put 
myself right fully upon God and these good folk alike lor 
good and for ill, that never did I harbour for so long a 
time to my knowledge, and I pray thee for the sake of 
God Almighty that this be carefully inquired. 

Therefore let there be an inquest. 

Here endeth the Court Baron and the Office of the 
Steward, and then Plea of the Crown according to the 
usage of Court Baron. 



» In Latin, Peto hoc mlhi allocarl. 
^ 'Without prejudice ' to the answer that I have aheady given. 



68 DE PLACITIS ET CURIIS TENENDIS. 



II. De Placitis et Curiis tenendis. 

Intellige quod aliter placitatur in curia domini Regis 
coram justiciariis de banco, aliter coram justiciariis itiner- 
antibus, aliter in aliis curiis ejusdem ut in comitatibus et 
hundredis, aliter in curiis comitum, baronum, militum et 
libère tenendum, episcoporum, abbatum et priorum et 
aliorum religiosorum qui libère tenent secundum suas certas 
libertates vocantur.* Qui igitur placitant vel curias tenere 
debent cujusmodi sunt justiciarii, senescalli, balHvi diversi, 
puta vicecomites, hundredarii et ballivi maneriorum, bene 
custodiant literam suam per quam talem potestatem habent 
et taies sunt facti, nec aliquo modo transgrediantur fines 
mandati vel faciant aliquid quam illud quod continetur in 
litera. Item sciât que consuetudines sunt in illo comitatu, 
hundredo,^ curia vel manerio et que libertates ad premissa 
pertineant, quia jura in diver sis locis et consuetudines 
diversimode de se habent, et articulos francise vel consue- 
tudines et atachiamenta in manu habeant ut per ordinem 
possit placitari. 

Item habeat rotulos placitorum vel curiarum prius 
tentarum ut si aliquod placitum vel querela non terminata 
fuerit possit per rectum et justiciam procedere terminare. 

Item sciât quod secundum consuetudinem patrie 
statu itur major terminus vel minor in curiis tenendis. Item 
sciât quod tantum bis in anno tenetur curia visus franci- 
plegii et quod omnes masculi laici habentes etatem xij. 

' Sic. ' cor.iitu, hundredar\ MS. 



HOW TO HOLD PLEAS AND COURTS. 68 



II. How TO HOLD Pleas and Coukts. tvr'fif^ u^^^wu 

Thou shouldest understand that there is one manner of 
pleading in the court of our lord the King before the justices 
of the bench, another before the justices in eyre, another in 
his other courts such as counties and hundreds, and another 
in the courts of earls, barons, knights and freeholders, 
bishops, abbots, priors, and other men of religion who have 
freeholds [according to their various rights, which are 
called franchises^]. They therefore who plead or have to 
hold courts, whosoever they be, justices, stewards, bailiffs 
of various kinds, as for instance sheriffs, hundredors and 
bailiffs of manors, should diligently observe the letter which 
gives them this power and makes them what they are, and 
should in no wise transgress the limits of their mandate or 
do otherwise than is contained in the letter [whereby they 
are appointed]. Also such an one should know the cus- 
toms of that county, hundred, court or manor, and the 
franchises pertaining to the premises, for laws and customs 
differ in divers places, and should have the articles of the 
franchise and the customs and the attachments in his hand ^f* 7^?. 
that the pleading may be in due order. 

Also he should have the rolls of courts and pleas pre- 
viously holden, so that if any plea or plaint hath not been 
determined he may proceed to determine it according to 
right and justice. 

Also he should know that according to the custom of 
^-î^tvo^ the country, courts are holden sometimes at longer, some- \ iJ, tu^^^^^^ 

^,w%A- " times at shorter intervals. Also that the court of the view 

^^ . , , jv of frankpledge should be holden but twice a year, and that A/- , , 

»,(>t^^ all male laymen of the age of twelve years, who have made 

^1 t'V-^ ^ a The original text seems corrupt. 



flt^y^n^ p.. 



69 DE PLACITIS ET CUEIIS TEXENDIS. 

annorum qui solverunt majori in hunclredo ' vel ii'iuicisi ^ 
debent esse in franciplegiagio vel thewinga quod idem est. 

Item sciât quod nomina eorum debent scribi in uno 
rotulo et dividi per thewingas vel decenas et bis in anno 
legi, scilicet, ad curiam franciplegii ut possit videri si faciant 
sectam sicut facere debent et ut possint revocari ad 
dominum suum si aliter fuerint detenti. 

Item sciât quod [quando'"^] senescallus novus factus 
fuerit vel itinerans debet premunire bailivos hundredi vel 
maneriorum per literas suas de curia vel hundredo 
submonitando. 

Item sciât quod nunquam movebitur aliquod placitum 
versus aliquem in capitali curia domini Kegis nisi per breve 
a curia domini Eegis veniens, et tune accepta securitate 
de prosequendo summonebitur ille qui tenet per bonos sum- 
monitores quod veniat responsurus in aliqua predictarum 
curiarum secundum quod dicitur in brevi super hoc, quia 
non tenetur quis respondere alicui de libero tenemento suo 
in aliqua curia domini sui extra franchisam nisi per breve a 
curia domini Regis directum quod breve cum quis ostendit ^ 
clericus curie illud inrotulabit et precipietur a curia quod 
deforciator legitime -' sumonicetur. 

Item sciat quod sumonitus potest facere se essoniari 
legitime ^ secundum consuetudinem curie et post ^ essoniis 
elapsis et districtionibus factis per consideracionem curie 
loquela deduci poterit et per judicium terminari. 

Item sciat quod si curia domini de recto ^ defecerit, 
poterit loquela transfer ri ad comitatum vel ad justiciarios 
de banco et ibidem terminari et deduci. 

Item sciat quod in quantum poterit debet omnes 



' hundred', MS. - Sic. ^ Not in MS. * The word in 

MS. is ondii. * The word in MS. is lumë. * limé, MS. 

^ pro, MS. * direcia, MS. 



HOW TO HOLD PLEAS AND COURTS. 69 

payment to the mayor [or elder of the tithing] in the hun- 
dred or the franchise,* should be in a frankpledge or, which 
is the same thing, in a tithing. 

Also he should know that their names should be written 
on a roll and be divided into tithings and be read twice a 
year at the court of frankpledge, that it may be seen 
whether they make suit as they ought and may be recalled 
to their lord in case they be detained elsewhere. 

Also he should know that when a new steward is made 
or the steward is about to make his circuit he should warn 
the bailiffs of the hundred or of the manors by his letters 
that they may summon the hundred or the court. 

Also he should know that no plea is ever moved against 
any in the chief court of our lord the King save by a writ 
coming from the King's court, and then, security for prose- 
cution having been taken, the tenant shall be summoned 
by good summoners to come and answer in one of the afore- 
said courts according to the words of the writ ; for no one 
is bound to answer to any touching his freehold in any 
court of a lord, unless there be a franchise,^ save by a writ 
coming from the King's court ; and when one proffers such 
a writ then the clerk of the court shall enroll it and '^a-^^ 
the court shall order that the deforceor be lawfully sum- 
moned. 

Also he should know that the person summoned may 
cause himself to be lawfully essoined according to the 
custom of the court, and then when the essoins are over 
and the distresses have been made, the suit may be prose- 
cuted according to the award of the court and determined 
by judgment. 

Also that if the court of the lord maketh default of right 
the suit may be transferred to the county or to the justices 
of the bench and there be prosecuted and determined. 

Also he should know that to the best of his power he 



» The text seems to be corrupt. •• Only the most exalted fran- 

It will be seen below that when a chises— e.g. the palatinates — make 

person enters frankpledge he pays a necessary this saving clause, 
penny. 



70 DE PLACITIS ET CURIIS TEXENBI.?;. 

querelas justo judicio terminare festinanter et dtfeciiis 
fecere ' emendare, que sunt sub potestate sua^ et querelaB 
omnium conquerencium pacienter audire, pauperes susten- 
tare, nec prece, premio, nec spe lucri alicujus injuriam 
lacère vel maie judicai'e tenetur, set sit in sermons verax, 
in judicio Justus, in consilio providus, in commisse lidelis, 
in ^ strenuus, in bonitate conspicuus, et in universa 

morum honestate preclarus, quia sic potest reddere que 
sunt Cesaris Cesarii^ et que sunt Dei Deo, judiciumque 
ejus stabit in eternum ac erit nomen ejus in laude, et sic 
de balliva parva in regnum transfert illum qui suscitât de 
pulvere egenum et de stercore erigit pauperem ut sedeat 
cum principibus et solium glorie teneat. 

[Litere senescalli ad ballivum.^] A. de B. senescallus 
domini N. de C. ballivis de Burtone salutem. Quia liac 
instanti die Veneris proxima post Purificacionem ad partes 
vestras venire proponimus vobis mandamus quatinus ad 
dictum diem hundredum vel ad ^ curiam secundum consue- 
tudinem manerii sumonitari faciatis et ut cetera que ad 
hujusmodi negocium pertinent quantum in vobis est promta 
sint et parata. Valete. Datum, vel sic. Quia generalem 
curiam domini Wintoniensis die Sabbati proxima post 
festum S. Valenti^ aput N. tenere proponimus, vobis 
mandamus quatinus omnes debentes sectam dicte curie 
sint ibidem summo mane coram nobis facturi quod de recto 
fuerit faciendum, quia inde ad prandium nostrum aput 
N. tenta curia tempes tive declinavimus ^ vel transibimus. 
Valete. Datum, vel sic. A. de C. senescallus domini P. 
uni ver sis ballivis per bon or em de Clara constitutis vel per 
episcopatum Wintonie constitutis salutem. Quia generalem 
circuitum nostrum bac instanti die Jovis incipere pro- 
ponimus, vobis mandamus quatinus singuli vestrum ad 
dies subscriptas curias vestras contra adventum nostrum 
faciatis summoneri. Tu ballive A. ad diem Jovis post 
festum S. Hyllari. Tu ballive de C. ad diem Sabbati 
sequentem. Tu ballive de A. ad diem Lune proximo 
sequentem etc. Salvete.^ 

' Covï. facere [?]. - Vuentu, MS. ^ Sic. ^ In margin. 

* Sic. ^ Sic. ' Coït, dcclinabimus. ^ SaV, MS. 



HOW TO HOLD PLEAS AND COURTS. 70 

ought to determine all suits justly and speedily and cause 
all defaults to be amended, which are within his power, and 
patiently hear the plaints of all plaintiffs and maintain the 
poor, nor for price, nor gift, nor for hope of gain, should he do 
wrong to any or judge amiss, but he should be true in word, 
just in judgment, wise in council, faithful in trust, strenuous 
in [deed], eminent in kindness, and excellent in all honour- 
ableness of life, for thus he may render to Caesar the things 
that be Caesar's and to God the things that be God's, and 
his judgment shall endure for ever, and his name shall be 
in praise, and so from his little bailiwick he shall be trans- 
ferred to a kingdom by Him who taketh the needy from the 
dust and lifteth up the poor out of the mire, and so he may 
sit with princes and hold a throne of glory. 

The steward's letter to the bailiff: — A. of B. steward of 
Sir N. of C. to the bailiffs of Burton greeting. For that on 
Friday next after the Purification we purpose to visit your 
parts, we command you that for the said day ye do cause to 
be summoned the hundred, or the court, according to the 
custom of the manor, and that all other things that pertain 
thereto be ready and prepared to the best of your power. 
Farewell. Given this etc. — Another form : — For that we 
purpose to hold the general court of the lord bishop of 
Winchester on Saturday next after the feast of St. Valentine 
at N., we command you that all who owe suit to the said 
court be there at daybreak before us to do what of right 
ought to be done, for we shall go thence to our dinner at N. 
betimes. Farewell. Given this etc. — Another form : — 
A. of C. the steward of Sir P. to all the bailiffs throughout 
the honour of Clare, or, the episcopal barony* of Win- 
chester, greeting. For that we purpose to begin our general 
circuit on Thursday next, we command you that each of 
you do cause his court to be summoned for the days named 
below to meet us. Thou bailiff of A. on Thursday after the 
feast of S. Hilary. Thou bailiff of C. on the following 
Saturday. Thou bailiff" of A. on the following Monday. 
Farewell. 

' This seems the meaning of epiacopatus in this context. 



71 DE PLACITIS ET CUBllS ÏENENDIS. 

Cum pervenerit ad locum et horam curie tenende 
incipiatur clericus sub forma aliqua sequencium secundum 
quod contingit. 

Curia domini Eegis Henrici filii Eegis Johannis tenta 
aput B. die Jovis proxima post festivitatem S. Hyllari anno 
regni ejusdem Eegis liiij*^ per dominum A. de E. militem 
justiciarium vel senescallum vel ballivum ^ constitutum sub 
hac forma. Henricus Dei gracia Eex Anglie, Dominus 
Hibernie etc. — et prescribatur tota litera. 

Curia domini A. de C. comitis, baronis, militis tenta 
aput B. die tali anno regni Eegis Henrici liiij. per dominum 
E. de N. militem senescallum suum constitutum sub hac 
forma. J. de Clare Comes Glovernie etc. 

Curia domini A. Wintoniensis Episcopi tenta aput N. 
die tali anno consecrationis ejusdem iiij. per dominum A. 
etc. A. miseracione divina etc. Wintoniensis. 

Clerici — Abbatis de C. — Prioris vel clerici etc. tenta 
aput N. die tali anno domini m° cc° Ix** ix° etc. 

Articuli intrandi.^ Si omnes xij. annorum sint in libero 
plegiagio et quis tante etatis non est in libero plegiagio. Si 
quilibet capitalis plegius sit ^ quos et quot habeat m sua 
tewinga. Si omnes debentes sectam ad curiam sint ibidem 
et quis sit absens. Et si franchisa bene fuerit servata et 
per quem fuerit diminuata. Si assise panis et servisie sint 
servate et quis non servavit assisam. De utesio levato et 
persecuto. De sanguine fiiso. De aqua mutata. De muro 
et fossa de novo levatis et chemino de novo facto. De hos- 
pitatoribus extraneorum et receptoribus malorum et de 
vigilantibus de nocte secundum statutum curie. De ponti- 



• senescaîli vel balîivi, MS. ' Corr. inq^iirendi [?] ^ Corr. scit 

or sciât [?] 



HOW TO HOLD PLEAS AND COURTS. 71 

Then at the place and time for holdaig the court the 
clerk shall begin to write in one of the following forms, as 
the case may be. 

The Court of the Lord King Henry * son of King John 
holden at B. on Thursday next after the feast of 8. Hilary 
in the fifty- fourth year of the reign of the King aforesaid by 
Sir A. of E. knight, justice, or steward, or bailiff, appointed 
in the form following: — Henry by the grace of God, King 
of England, Lord of L'eland etc.— the whole letter [of ! ^^ zxJ^ 
appointment] being copied.^ ^^^h^^ sh 

Court of Sir A. of C, earl, baron, knight, holden at B. 
on such a day in the fifty-fourth year of King Henry by Sir 
K. of N. knight, his steward appointed in the form follow- 
ing : — J.^ of Clare, Earl of Gloucester etc. 

Court of the Lord A.^ Bishop of Winchester holden at 
N. on such a day in the fourth year of his consecration by 
Sir A. etc. : — A. by divine mercy Bishop of Winchester etc. 

In case of a clerk — of the Abbot of C. — or of such a 
Prior or clerk — holden at N. on such a day in the year of 
Our Lord 1269.« 

Articles of the inquest. Whether all of the age of twelve R^wv/vr/ 
years be in frankpledge, and who of that age is not in 
frankpledge. Whether every chief pledge knoweth how 
many and who are in his tithing. Whether all they who 
owe suit of court are present, and who is absent. And 
whether the franchise be well kept and by whom it hath 
been impaired. W^hether the assizes of bread and beer be ^/^, ^ 
kept, and who hath not kept the assize. Of hue levied and 
pursued. Of bloodshed. Of watercourses diverted. Of 
walls or ditches newly made and of ways newly made. Of 
receivers of strangers and harbourers of evil-doers, and of 
those who ought to watch by night according to the statute 
of the court. Of bridges and causeways broken, and of 

» This would be one of the King's ^ Probably an imaginary bishop, 

raanorial courts. " The point is that a layman dates 

^ But it was not common to set by the regnal year, a bishop by the 

out the steward's letter of appoint- year of his pontificate, a clerk by the 

mcnt on the roll. year of grace. 

' A purely imaginary person. 



f^ (Ht^ i^ Çctu^ f 



72 DE PLACITIS ET CURIIS TENENJDIS. 

bus et calcatis fractis et cheminis emendandis. De tailagiis 
et pacacionibus injustîs receptis a transeuntibus. Postea 
de ceteris querelis, placitis et casibus contingentibus. 

Et sciendum quod clericus curie debet omnia abbreviare 
scil. que sunt facta in curia prout contingit de facto sic : — 
A. tenta aput B. in crastino S. Yalentini anno tali, vel 
eodem etc. Statuitur hundredus vel curia primum aput 
C.^ die tali primo inquisivit senescallus utrum omnes sec- 
tatores curie essent ibidem et testatum est quod sic, vel 
testatum est quod N. de P. non fecit sectam sicut facer e 
deberet ad duas curias précédentes, et preceptum est quod 
distringeretur ut veniret facturas finem proxima. 

Item inquisitum fuit si omnes xij. annorum in libero 
plegiagio essent, et si aliquis esset vacans ^ ibi qui non 
esset in libero plegiagio, et testatum fuit quod N. Marescallus 
locuit domus ^ unam cuidam extraneo qui non est in libero 
plegiagio, et preceptum est quod ille extraneus destringatur 
quod ponat xij. den.'' se in tewinga vel quod recédât a villa, 
et dictus N. Marescallus remanet in misericordia pro hospi- 
tatione sine licencia, plegii N. et N. Item testatum est 
quod duo filii N. Marescalli qui sunt xx. annorum et manent 
cum patre suo non sunt in tewinga, et preceptum est quod 
distringantur vj. den. ad ponendum eos in tewinga ad proxi- 
mam curiam, et N. Marescallus remanet in misericordia 
quia tamdiu tenuit ipsos extra tewingam. 

Item quesitum fuit de capitali plegio ^ utrum sciret quot 
et quos haberet in thewinga sua, et testatum fuit quod 
sic . . . .^ nominibus singulorum inventum est K. Fabrum 
concellasse N. et N. qui transtulerunt se super terram Pre- 
ceptoris Milicie Templi, et preceptum est quod distringantur 
ij. sol. quod veniant cum bonis suis super terram domini 
sui, et dictus K. remanet in misericordia pro concelamento. 

Item quesitum est vel fuit utrum franchisa fuerit bene 
servata et si per aliquem fuerit diminuata, et testatum 
fuit quod ser viens de C. deforciat tenentes domini quod non 

' The text seems corrupt. ^ Corr. vianens [?] ^ Sic. ■• The 

amount of an amercement has got into the wrong place. ^ capitaV plecf 

MS. ^ A word which appears to be uectus or îiettus ; perhaps it should 

be lectis. 



HOW TO HOLD PLEAS AND COUETS. 7 "2 

ways to be repaired. Of tallages and payments wrongfully 
exacted from those who journey. And afterwards of other 
plaints, pleas and cases that have arisen. 

And be it known that the clerk of the court ought to 
note down all that is done in the court as it happens, 
thus : — [Court of] A. holden at B. on the morrow of S. Valen- 
tine — or, The hundred or court is holden at C. on such a 
day. In the first place the steward inquired whether all 
the suitors of the court were there ; and it was witnessed 
that they were ; or, it was witnessed that N. of P. did not 
make suit at the last two courts ; and it was commanded 
that he should be distrained to make fine at the next court. 
Also it was inquired if all of the age of twelve years were 
in frankpledge, and whether anyone was dwelling there 
who was not in frankpledge. And it was witnessed that 
N. Marshall has let a house to a stranger who is not in 
frankpledge ; and it is commanded that the stranger be 
distrained to put himself in a tithing or else to leave the 
vill ; and the said N. Marshall is in mercy, 12 d., for re- 
ceiving without licence ; his pledges are N. and N. Also 
it is witnessed that two sons of N. Marshall who are of the 
age of twenty years dwell with their father and are not in 
a tithing. And it is commanded that they be distrained to 
put themselves in a tithing before the next court, and N. 
Marshall is in mercy, 6 d., for keeping them so long out of 
tithing. 

Also it was inquired of the chief pledge whether he knew 
how many and whom he had in his tithing. And it was 
witnessed that he did, [but on reading] the names of the 
several persons it is found that R. Smith has concealed N. 
and N. who have removed themselves into the land of the 
Preceptor of the Knights Templars. And it is commanded 
that they be distrained to return with their chattels to the 
lord's land, and the said R. is in mercy, 2 s., for the con- 
cealment. 

Also it is (or was) inquired whether the franchise hath 
been duly kept and whether it hath been impaired by any. 
And it was witnessed that the sergeant of C. deforces the 



78 DE PLACITIS ET CURJTS TEXENDIS, 

possint piscari in Charwelle siciit soliti fuerunt, et preccptnm 
est quod ballivus cum tota franchisa adeat dictam aquam ' 
et faciat piscari et si per balliviam suam^ et salvo custodire 
donec invenerint plegios de transgressione domino in curia 
sua emendanda. 

Item inquisitum fuit utrum assise servisie et panis et 
alie assise curie essent lideliter observate an non, et testa- 
tum fuit quod ultima taberna, vj. den., W. Venator is 
non fuit de assisa, unde ipse remanet in miserieordia, plegii 
N. et N. etc. Item tota curia, vel hundredus vel patria 
conquer ebatur de assisa panis et servisie maie servata cum 
forum ^ bladi esset emendatus,'* et per consideracionem curie 
vel hundredi preceptum fuit quod in posterum clamaretur 
quod iiij. galones venderentur ad j. den. in villa ruralibus -^ 
et in villa mercatoria iij. galones et quod iiij. panes fièrent 
ad den. per totum hundredum. 

Item quesitum de hutesio etc. et taies iiij. villate vel 
capitales plegii présentant hutesium factum tali die et 
narrant quod contingit die Lune proxima post festum S. 
Andrée quod M. uxor Messarii et E. uxor vicini sui fumantes 
simul ad furnum unum videlicet N. talis et quod rixa mota 
fuit inter eos pro perdicione panis unius extracti a furno et 
dicte vetule pugnabant per capillos et hutesium levaverunt ; 
raariti ^ earum hoc audientes accurrerunt et magnam med- 
letam fecerunt. Unde per consideracionem curie dicte 
vetule medletam facientes et hutesium levantes ponebantur 
in miserieordia. In respectum. Et preceptum est quod 
dicti N. et E. distringerentur quod veniant facturi finem 
pro miserieordia ad proximam curiam. Et ita de ceteris 
secundum quod contingit. 

Quidam latro captus cum manuopere videlicet cum 
talibus pannis et blado et carne etc. captus tali die et ductus 
ad curiam ab illis qui eundem latronem ceperunt sic est 
appellatus. Nos A. B. C. appellamus istum N. quod nocturno 
tempore domum suam ^ assultavit et suffodit in pace Dei et 
domini Kegis et domini N. et dictas res furatus est et fugit 

' The word seems to be acrayn. - Sic. ^ for' MS. * Or emen- 

datur. ^ Sic. ** ?inrici MS. ' Corr. noatrani [?]. 



HOW TO HOLD PLEAS AND COURTS. 78 

lord's tenants from fishing in the Cherwell as they were 
wont. And it is ordered that the baihff with the whole 
franchise do go to the said water and cause it to be fished 
and do cause it to be safely guarded throughout his baili- 
wick until [the deforceors] shall find pledges to amend the 
trespass to the lord in his court. 

Also it was inquired whether the assizes of bread and 
beer and other the assizes of the court be faithfully observed 
or no. And it was witnessed that the last brew of W. 
Hunter was not according to the assize. Wherefore he is 
in mercy, 6 d. ; pledges, N. and N. etc. Also the whole 
court, or hundred, or country, complaineth of the assize of 
bread and beer being badly kept [since the market for 
corn hath improved]. And by judgment of the court or 
hundred it was commanded that for the future it should be 
proclaimed that in country vills four gallons be sold for a 
penny and in the market tow^n three gallons, and that four 
loaves be sold for a penny throughout the hundred. 

Also inquiry was made of hue etc. And four townships 
namely etc. (or the chief pledges) present that hue was raised 
on such a day, and they say that it fell out on Monday 
next after S. Andrew that M. wife of the hay ward and E. wife 
of a neighbour were baking at an oven, to wit, that of N., 
and a dispute arose between them about the loss of a loaf 
taken from the oven, and the said old crones took to their 
fists and each other's hair and raised the hue ; and their 
husbands hearing this ran up and made a great rout. 
Therefore by award of the court the said women who made 
the rout and raised the hue are in mercy. Amercement 
respited. And it is ordered that N. and E. [the husbands] 
do make fine for mercy at the next court. — And so on with 
other cases as they arise. 

A thief taken with the mainour, to wit, certain clothes, 
and corn and meat etc., is captured on such a day and 
brought to the court by those who took him and is thus 
appealed. We A. B. C. appeal this N. for that by night he 
assaulted and dug through our house in tlie peace of God 
and of our lord the King and of the lord N. and stole the 



74 BE PLACITIS ET CURIIS TENENDIS. 

et nos cum hutesio levato ilium secuti sumus et cepimus et 
cum illo latrocinium ad banc curiam duximus et hic pro- 
sequimur, si latro hoc confitetur pulcrum nobis videtur si 
negat injuste negat etc. 

H. sic appellatus negat de verbo ad verbum omne quod 
ei imponitur et posuit se super veredictum visneti vel patrie. 
Et per veredictum fuit culpabilis de eo quod fuit appellatus 
et sic dampnatus fuit et suspensus. vel sic. et preceptum 
fuit quod fieret de eo justicia (v. libras ^). Set cum duceretur 
ad judicium faciendum evasit de manibus ducencium ad 
ecclesiam et per visum fidedignorum ^ abjuravit t err am 
Eegis et dicta villa remanet in misericordia. 

Item essoniatores vocati fuerunt. Et R. de E. essoniat 
se per N. de placito terre versus talem. Primo preceptum 
est quod melius distringatur. Item Johannes de E. essoniat 
se per A. Wodewarde versus N. talem. Secundo ^ preceptum 
est quod melius distringatur, et ita de ceteris. 

A. de B. conqueritur de R. in pace Dei messuit unam 
acram terre sue frumenti in campis de N. et quod hoc fecit 
injuste et sine judicio, unde ipse dampnificatus ad valorem 
V. s. et amplius et hoc si negat injuste negat quia N. dictus 
sectam habet sufficientem. 

R. sic inculpatus elapsis essoniis et postea destrictione 
facta venit et obtulit se ad essonias suas warantizandas et 
essoniatoribus presentibus eo ^ warantizavit et querela audita 
fuit. Dictus R. respondit verbo ad verbum negando omne 
quod ei imponitur contra dictum A. et sectam suam. Et con- 
sideratum est a curia quod quia se bene defendebat legitime^ 
deberet legem inculpandi^ vadiare. Et per consilium ami- 
corum ceperunt diem amoris de licencia ballivi. Datus est 



' In margin. ^ Substituted for monacorum. ^ scd' MS. 

* Sic. * him MS. ® Corr. inculpanti. 



HOW TO HOLD PLEAS AND COURTS. 



74 



said things and fled, and we raised the hue and followed 
and took him and have brought him into court and his 
larceny with him and here we pursue him ; if he will con- 
fess this, it shall seem well to us ; if he will deny, wrong- 
fully he denies etc. 

H. thus appealed denies word by word all that is 
charged against him and put himself on the verdict of the 
neighbourhood or of the country. And by the verdict he 
was guilty of the charge ; and so he was condemned and 
hanged — or thus : and it was commanded that justice be 
done upon him.* [His chattels were worth] £5. But when 
he was being taken to execution he escaped from the hands 
of his conductors to the church and there by the view of 
trustworthy men he abjured the realm ; and the said vill is 
in mercy. 

Also the essoiners were called. And R. of E. essoins 
himself by N. in a plea of land against such an one. It is 
ordered a first time that he be better distrained. Also 
John of E. essoins himself by A. Woodward against N. It 
is ordered a second time that he be better distrained. And 
so in other cases. 

A. of B. complaineth of R. that in the peace of God he 
reaped an acre of his land sown with wheat in the fields of 
N., and that this he did unjustly and without judgment, so 
that he is damaged to the amount of 5 s. and more ; if he 
denieth this, wrongfully he denieth it, for the said [plaintiff] 
hath sufficient suit. 

R. thus accused, essoins being over and distress being 
made, offers himself to warrant his essoins and does so in 
the presence of the essoiners ; and the plaint being heard, he 
answereth word by word denying all whereof he is charged 
against A. and his suit. And it is considered by the court 
that since he has well defended himself he should in due 
form wage his law to the plaintiff. And by the counsel of 
their friends they took a love-day by the bailift''s licence. A 



Vv-.'S^ue^^ 



he 



/^UvV^Mr [^ 



I^j^X^ ( :UM^ 



» This is a euphemism to which the steward may have recourse if he 
pleases. 



VuL.'iV, 



K 



75 DE PLACJTIS ET CURII8 TENENDJS. 

eis dies usque ad proximam curiam salvo curie ' domini et 
ballivi. 

A. de B. et A. de E. venerunt et cognoverunt ^ quod 
consiliati et pacificati ^ sunt super placito quod fuerat inter 
eos et dictus A. remanet in misericordia pro falso clamore 
vel quia non fuit prosecutus querelam suam. 

E. de N. conqueritur de tali quod dictus C. et filius suus 
nocturno tempore tali nocte intraverunt in curiam suam et 
venientes ad vivarium ibidem piscaverunt et ceperunt in 
vivarium ad valorem xl. sol. et amplius. Dictus A. talis 
percipiens per latratus canum extraneos fore in curia sua 
sur r exit et prospiciens foras ad fenestram audivit illos pis- 
cantes et statim vocavit N. filium suum et servos suos qui 
statim exierunt ut caperent, et illi percipientes homines 
super venire ^ statim eifugerunt et dictos pisces in dampnum 
et dedecus ipsius asportaverunt, unde dictus K. noluit sus- 
tinuisse dampnum pro c. s. nec pudorem pro iij. marcis, 
et quod hoc sit verum habet inde sectam sufficientem A. B. C. 
Et consideratum est quod dictus C. legitime ^ summoniatur. 

Alicia relicta E. N. queritur de E. Eufïo vicino suo 
quod porci ejus tali die intraverunt in ortum suum sufîode- 
runt fabas et olera ita quod noluit habuisse dampnum pro 
ij. s. nec pudorem pro xij. d. unde petit illud ac dampnum 
gibi emendetur. 

Dictus E. posuit super se^ veredictum curie si deberet 
respondere ad solam vocem vidue an non. Et consideratum 
est quod non. Vidua vj. d. remanet in misericordia quia 
non habuit sectam. 

N. appellat E. quod quodam die post prandium in 
estate cum duobus servis suis A. et F. et cum magno 
tumultu in pace Dei et domini Eegis intravit in domum 
suam et insultavit eum nequiter in pace Dei ita quod 
noluit sustinuisse dampnum pro j. marca et pudorem et^ 
pro dimid', si hoc confitetur pulcrum ei videtur si hoc negat 
injuste negat quia prefatus N. habet® hoc audientes et 
videntes A. B. C. 

' c?/r' MS. "-^ pro co7isiUata et pacificata M^. * i^enir' MS. 

^ The word in MS. is livie. * Corr. posuit se super. ' Omit et. 

* A word of two letters, seemingly é'.r, precedes the usual abbreviation for hoc. 



HOW TO HOLD PLEAS AND COURTS. 75 

day is given them at the next court, saving the rights of 
the lord's court and of the baihfï. 

A. of B. and A. of E. came and confessed that they had 
made peace and concord in the plea which was between 
them, and the said A. is in mercy for his false claim — or, 
because he hath not prosecuted his suit. 

E. of N. complaineth of C. that he and his son by night 
time on such a night entered his court and came to his 
fishpond and fished there and took fish to the value of 40 s. 
and more. The said A. perceiving by the barking of dogs 
that there were strangers in his court, arose and looked out 
of window and heard them fishing and aroused N. his son 
and his serfs, who straightway went out to take them ; and 
they, perceiving men coming, at once fled and carried ofï 
with them the said fish to his damage and shame, so that 
the said K. would not willingly have received such damage 
for 100 s . or such shame for 3 marks ; and that this is true 
he hath here sufficient suit, to wit, A. B. C. And it is con- 
sidered that C. be summoned lawfully. 

Alice widow of K. N. complaineth of E. Bead her neigh- 
bour that on such a day his pigs entered her garden and 
rooted up her beans and cabbages so that she would not 
willingly have had that damage for 2 s. nor that shame for 
12 d. and she demandeth that amends be made. 

The said K. put himself on the verdict of the court as to 
whether or no he was bound to answer the unsupported 
plaint of the widow. And it is considered that he is not ; 
and the widow is in mercy, 6 d., for that she had no suit. 

N. appealeth B. that on a certain day in summer after 
dinner with his two serfs A. and F. and with a great 
tumult in the peace of God and of our lord the King he 
entered his house and assaulted him wickedly in the peace 
of God so that he would not have sustained that damage 
for one mark or the shame for a half-mark ; if he will confess, 
this will seem fair to him ; if he denieth, wrongfully he 
denieth, for N. hath [here] A. B. C. who heard and saw. 



K 2 



76 DE PLACITIS ET CURIIS TENENDIS. 

E. sic appellatas negat verbo ad verbum pacem Dei et 
domini sui infractam et assultatus ' cum ramis ^ mollutis 
neqniter factum et verberacionem et vulnus in fluctum ^ 
dampnum et pudorem inculpantis contra dictum N. Et 
consideratum est a curia quod sufficienter negavit et 
indictatum est ei legem inculpanti vadiare. Et vadiavit ei 
legem. Et datus est dies ad primam curiam. 

K. venit contra N. et fecit legem super querelam que 
vertebatur inter eos. Et N. remanet in misericordia 
(iij. sol.'*) pro falso clamore ; plegii N. et N. 

N. messarius domini conqueritur de tali quod in 
dampnum et dedecus domini sui pascebat parvum pratum 
vel pasturam domini sui ; si hoc negat injuste negat quia 
habet inde testes A. et E. qui cum illo fuerunt quando 
capere bestias voluit, set dictus talis cum filiis suis eidem 
messario restitit ne bestias adducere poscis.^ 

Talis negat verbo ad verbum sicut ei impositum est 
contra dictum messarium et testes suos A. B. E. Et con- 
sideratum est quod insufficienter negavit dampnum et 
pudorem domini et violenciam messori illatam tacendo et 
remanet in misericordia (xij. d.'^) quia defecit in negacione 
sua. 

F. Longus est in misericordia (vj. d.) pro defalta facta 
in opère domini die tali, plegios N. et N. 

N. Molendinarius fecit finem (vj. d.) pro misericordia 
sua quia maie aruit^ terram apud N., plegios ita et** 
decetero. 

Petrus Piscator fecit finem (v. d.) pro misericordia pro 
transgressione facta W. de Lupo pi' et ita decetero. 

(De jure jurandi.^) Ad jurand' cartand' ^° ad omnes 
franchiplegios flexo genu ad librum jurabit sic. Hoc auditis 
domine senescalle N. etc. quod ego N. non ero latro nec 
socius latronis, nec furtum nec furem celare debeo quin 
dicam eis quibus dicendum est, et portabo iidem domino 



' Sic. '^ Corr. armis. ^ Coït, vultum. * In margin, 

Ciort. poRsct. ^ The amounts of the amercements are in the margin. 

Sic. ^ Corr. pf ita. " In margin. '" Sic. 



HOW TO TIOLD PT.EAS AND COURTS. 76 

E. thus appealed denieth word by word the breach of 
the peace of God and of his lord and the assault with 
edged arms ^ wickedly committed and the beating and 
the wound in the face and the damage and the shame of 
the plaintiff against N. And it is considered by the court 
that he hath sufficiently denied and it is commanded him 
that he do wage his law to the plaintiff. And he waged 
his law to him. And a day is given at the next court. 

E. Cometh against N. and maketh a law in the suit 
which was between them. And N. is in mercy, 3 s., for a 
false complaint ; pledges N. and N. 

N. the lord's hayward complaineth of such an one that 
to the damage and shame of his lord he pastured the small 
meadow or pasture of his lord ; if he denieth, unjustly he 
denieth, for he hath thereof witnesses A. and E. who were 
with him when he attempted to take the beasts, but the 
said such an one and his sons resisted him, the hayward, 
so that he could not take them. 

So and so denieth the charge word by word against the 
said hayward and his witnesses, A. B. E. And it is con- 
sidered that he hath insufficiently denied, since he hath said 
nothing of the damage and shame of the lord and the 1 n^f^ 
violence done to the hayward, and he is in mercy (12 d.) for j 
he failed in his denial. 

F. Long is in mercy (6 d.) for a default in work for the 
lord on such a day ; pledges, N. and N. 

N. Miller made fine (6 d.) for his amercement for 
ploughing the land at N. badly ; pledges etc. And so forth. 

Peter Fisher made fine (5 d.) for his amercement for a 
trespass done to W. Wolf ; pledges etc. And so in other 
cases. 

As to oaths. When one is received into frankpledge ^ he 
shall swear on the book with bent knee thus. Hear this sir 
steward N. etc. that I, N. will not be a thief nor the fellow of 
a thief, nor will I conceal a theft nor a thief but will reveal 
it to those to whom it should be revealed, and I will 

• See Biacton, f. 138, as to the ncccsbity of mentioning some anna 
moluta. ^ The text jiccmy corrupt. 



77 DE PLAClTiS ET CUllIlS TENENDIS. 

Henrico Eegi Angiie, maxime domino meo Domino N. et 
obediens ero ' baliivorum suorum preceptis. Et deosculato 
libro ponat j. d. et dicatur ei quod sit intendens capitali 
plegio suo. 

(De jure jurandi baliivorum. ^) Aliquis ballivus recipiens 
ballivam jurabit sic. Hoc auditis domine N. quod ego N. 
iideliter me geram in balliva mea et honeste me portabo 
erga patriam scilicet erga divitem et pauper em, et quod 
alienatum fuit de jure domini mei vel de jure vestro per 
ballivos antecessores meos revocabo pro posse meo, et scire 
faciam domino meo vel vobis et consilio vestro etc. 

(De jure jurandi testimonium.^) Aliquis tractus in testi- 
monium super aliqua causa viris ^ jurabit sic. Hoc auditis 
domine N. quod ego N. nec pro amore nec pro odio nec pro 
timoré nec pro aliquo modo in mundo nec pro prece nec 
pro premio dicam aliquam falsitatem nec aliquam veri- 
tatem celabo super re de qua tractus sum in testimonium 
inter A. et B. coram vobis, sic me Deus adjuvet et ejus 
sancta ewangelia etc. Aliter. Hoc auditis domine N. quod 
ego N. dicam veritatem et nullam falsitatem super re de 
qua me interrogabitis vel de qua fuero requisitus, sic Deus 
me adjuvet etc. 

(De jure jurandi pugilum pro terra.^) Defensor a 
sinistris ^ primo jurabit tenens appeilatorem qui erit a 
dextris sic. Hoc auditis homo quem per manum teneo 
qui te vocari facis nomen baptismatis N., quodB. antecessor 
domini tui et nunquam fuit saisiatus de tanta terra cum 
pertinenciis in primo tempore domini Henrici Kegis etc. 
capiendo expleta etc., et jus non descendit sicut inrotulatus 
est etc. nec hereditas illa descendere et ^ domino tuo sicut 
dicis, ita adjuvet me Deus et Sancta Maria. Et deosculato 
libro taceat. Appellator jurabit sic. Hoc auditis homo etc. 
sicut prius quod falsum jurasti quia B. antecessor E. 
domini mei non ^ fuit saisiatus etc. sic adjuvet me Deus et 
sua sancta mater. Tune ambe ^ surgant et vicecomes com- 



' oro MS. ^ In margin. ^ In margin. * Con. juris. * In margin. 
as'. - For et read debet. ^ Om= non, ' Sic. 



HOW TO HOLD PLEAS AND COURTS. 77 

bear faith to the lord Henry King of England, and more 
especially to my lord N., and will be obedient to the precepts 
of his bailiffs. And having kissed the book he shall give a 
penny and shall be bidden to be obedient to his chief 
pledge. 

Of the bailiff's oath. Any bailiff receiving a bailiwick 
shall swear thus : — Hear this sir N. that I, N. will bear me 
faithfully in my bailiwick and behave me honestly towards 
the country, to wit, towards rich and poor, and if anything 
was alienated from my lord's right or from thine by the 
bailiffs my predecessors I will to the best of my power re- 
call it, and will inform my lord, or thee, or thy counsel etc. 

Of the oath of witnesses. Anyone brought as a witness 
in any lawsuit shall swear thus : — Hear this sir N. that 
I, N. wdll not for love, nor hate, nor fear, nor anything in 
the world, nor for price, nor reward tell any falsehood or 
conceal any truth touching the matter about which I am 
brought as a witness between A. and B. before thee. So 
help me God and his holy gospels etc. — Another form. — 
Hear this sir N. that I, N. will speak the truth and no 
falsehood upon the matter concerning which thou shalt 
ask me, or about which I shall be questioned. So help me 
God etc. 

Of the champions' oaths in a suit for land. The defender, 
on the left, shall first swear holding [the hand of the] appel- 
lor, who shall be on the right, thus : — Hear this thou man 
whom I hold by the hand who art called N. by thy name of 
baptism, that B. the ancestor of thy lord never was seised 
of that land with the appurtenances at the beginning of the 
reign of King Henry etc. by taking thence esplees etc., and t^)y>oj:i^ [y^w^Cy^/v 
the right did not descend — following the words of the 
inrolment — nor ought that inheritance to descend to thy 
lord as thou sayest, so help me God and Saint Mary. And 
having kissed the book he shall say no more. The appellor 
shall swear thus : — Hear this thou man etc. — as before — 
that thou hast sworn falsely, for that B. the ancestor of my 
lord E. was seised etc., so help me God and his Holy 
Mother. Then both shall rise and the sheriff shall commit 



78 DE PLACIÏIS ET CUEII.S TENENDIS. 

mittet eos ballivis et duobus militibus et ipsi ducent piigiles 
ita ad palaciam q.uod appellator sit ex parte orientali et 
defensor ex parte occidentali. Et tune iterum jurabunt etc. 
(De jure jurandi ad homagium capiendum.^) Junctis 
manibus se offerat et manibus domini sub capa ^ domini sui 
dicet hoc. Devenio homo vester de tali tenemento a vobis 
taxato ^ ad portandum vobis fidem de vita et membrum ^ et 
terreno honore contra omnes qui sunt et mori possunt salva 
fide domini Henrici Kegis Anglie et heredum suorum et 
aliorum dominorum meorum si alios dominos habeant. 
Et osculabitur dominum suum etc. 



'^In margin. ^ Some error may be suspected. ^ Corr. tenendo. * Sic. 



HOW TO HOLD PLEAS AND COURTS. 78 

them to the bailiffs and two knights, and they shall bring ^v^ \■>'>^uu^^ 
the champions to the lists so that the appellor shall be at 
the east and the defender at the west.^ And then they 
shall swear once more etc. 

Of the oath when homage is taken. With joined hands 
he shall offer himself and with his hands under his lord's 
mantle he shall say this — I become thy man of such a 
tenement to be holden of thee, to bear to thee faith of life 
and member and earthly worship against all men who live 
and can die, saving the faith of my lord Henry King of 
England and hfs' heirs and of my other lords — if other 
lords he hath. And he shall kiss his lord etc. 



• See the document printed in Acts of Parliament of Scotland, i. 746, 
and Neilson, Trial by Combat, p. 92. 



79 MODUS TENENDl CUEIAS. 



III. [Modus Tenendi Curias.] 

Sequuntur Attachiamenta. 

Et sciendum est quod duplex est attachiamentum per 
corpus videlicet et per manucaptores sive per plegios, de 
quo nunc primo. 

A. de B. attachiatus est pro utesio levato, vel pro assisa 
panis et cervisie infracta, vel pro namio vetito pro tali 
debito solvendo, vel pro teolonio asportato de molendino 
quando molebat ibidem, vel pro transgressione facta 
cuidam extraneo sine merito ut dicitur, vel quia vetuit 
vendere cervisiam ballivo domini et ad usum proprium, vel 
quia contulit verba contumeliosa ballivo, vel quia servus 
suns fuit in gardino domini et asportavit poma, vel quia 
famuli sui messuerunt stipulam domini contra defensionem, 
vel quia ancilla sua saltavit parcum domini, vel quia 
vendidit piscem contra libertatem ville, vel quia non venit 
per preceptum domini ad visum faciendum, et ideo invenit 
plegios ad respondendum ad proximam curiam vel 
hundredum, scil. talem et talem. 

Et notandum est quod omnia attachiamenta debent 
fieri per ballivum set per seneschallum poterunt relaxari, et 
hoc quando nemo sequitur super attachiamentum nisi 
ballivus et hoc pro rebus factis contra libertatem domini 
sui, set de querelis factis non poterit aliud ^ relaxari nisi 
ex consensu actoris vel rei, quia nuUus potest concordare 
cum aliquo absque licencia domini vel ejus seneschalli post 
querelam factam vadio et plegiis datis, nisi salvo jure 
domini in omnibus. 

Deinde sequuntur querele : — A. de B. queritur de C. de 

' Corr, aliquid. 



THE MANNEE OF HOLDING COURT . 79 



III. [The Manner of holding Couets.] 

Here follow the attachments. 

And it is to be known that attachments are of two 
kinds, to wit, by the body and by manucaptors or pledges, 
and of these we here speak. 

A. of B. is attached for hue levied, or for breach of the 
assize of bread and beer, or for refusal to deliver gage for 
payment of a debt, or for toll subtracted from the mill 
when he ground there, or for a trespass done to a stranger 
undeservedly so it is said, or for refusmg to sell beer to the 
lord's bailiff for the lord's use, or for abusive words against 
the bailiff, or because his bondman was in the lord's garden 
and carried off apples, or because his servants reaped the 
lord's stubble contrary to a prohibition, or because his 
maid leaped into the lord's park, or for selling fish contrary 
to the franchise of the vill, or for not coming to make a 
view at the lord's command, and therefore he found pledges 
to answer at the next court or hundred, to wit, so and so. 

And it is to be noted that all attachments should be 
made by the bailiff and can be released by the steward 
when no one sues upon them save the bailiff in respect of 
breaches of his lord's franchise ; but in case of plaints 
there can be no release without the consent of plaintiff or 
defendant, for none can make compromise without the 
leave of the lord or his steward when a plaint has been 
made and gage and pledge given, except with a saving for 
all the lord's rights. 

Then follow the plaints : — A. of B. complaineth of C. 



80 MODUS TENENDI CURIAS. 

placito debiti, vel de placito injuste detentionis catallorum 
vel detentionis unius.equi, bobi, ^ affre, ovis, porci, galline 
vel alterius bestie singularis — et si alia catalla sunt— de 
placito injuste detencionis unius robe vel super tunice, vel 
unius anuli aurei vel argentei vel alterius rei — vel sic — 
de placito captionis et injuste detentionis unius equi, vel 
duorum equorum, vel unius vacce, vel ovis, vel alterius 
animalis, vel alterius rei, secundum diversitatem captionis 
— vel sic — de placito transgressionis. Plegii de prosequendo 
C. et D. Plegii standi recto E. et F. Et si fuerit in placito 
terre tune sic — A. de B. tulit brève domini Eegis de recto 
versus C. in hec verba Edwardus etc. 

Set primo inseratur titulus curie sic — Curia talis 
domini de tali manerio vel de tali loco tenta tali die anno 
regni Kegis Edwardi xxxv. — set de ordine curie baronis et 
libère tenentium plenius infra. 

Custodes panis et cervisie presentaverunt quod A. et B. 
fregerunt assisam panis et cervisie. Et ideo preceptum 
est quod attachientur quod sint responsuri ad proximam 
curiam sive hundredum. 

Custodes vicorum sive franciplegii presentaverunt 
utesium levatum et sanguinis effusionem in tali vico vel 
loco per W. de N. Et ideo preceptum est quod idem W. 
sit attachiatus ad respondendum ad proximam curiam vel 
hundredum. 

Et sciendum est quod quolibet vico burgi erit unus 
custos ad minus ad quem hutesium levatum possit pre- 
sentari, et ille idem illud presentabit in plena curia vel in 
pleno hundredo. Amerciatur autem si per donum vel 
lucrum, odium, amorem vel favorem sive per fraudem vel 
aliquam aliam causam per ipsum fuerit hutesium relaxatum 
vel concelatum. Extra civitatem vero franciplegii sive 
decenarii faciunt officia predicta. 

Sequuntur essonia. Et sciendum est quod in curiis 
magnatum et aliorum et in hundredis et comitatibus 
posiquam titulus rotuli inseratur — Primo exigantur 
esBoniatores. Deinde primo intrantur essonia de secta- 

' Sic. 



THE MANNER OF HOLDING COURTS. 80 

in a plea of debt, or a plea of wrongful detinue of chattels, 
or detinue of a horse, ox, mare, sheep, pig, hen or other 
beast — and if there be other chattels : of a plea of detinue 
of a cloak or overcoat or of a ring of gold or silver or the 
like — or thus : of a plea of taking and unjustly detaining a 
horse, or two horses, or a cow, or a sheep, or other animal, 
or some other thing, whatever may have been taken — or 
thus : of a plea of trespass. Pledges to prosecute, C. and D. 
Pledges to stand to right, E. and F. And if it be in a plea 
of land, then thus — A. of B. brought the King's writ of right 
against C. in these words, Edward etc. 

But first the title of the court should be inserted thus — 
Court of such a lord of such a manor or of such a place 
holden on such a day in the 35*^^ year of King Edward — 
but of the order of the court of a baron or of free tenants 
more below. 

The wardens of bread and beer presented that A. and 
B. have broken the assize of bread and beer. And there- 
fore it is commanded that they be attached to answer at 
the next court or hundred. 

The wardens of the wards or the frankpledges presented 
hue levied and blood shed in such a ward or place by W. of 
N. And therefore it is commanded that he be attached to 
answer at the next court or hundred. 

And it is to be known that in every ward of a borough 
there shall be one warden at least to whom any levy of the 
hue may be presented, and then he shall present the same 
in full court or full hundred. And he shall be amerced if 
for any gift or gain, hatred, love or favour or through any 
fraud or for any other cause any hue is by him released or 
concealed. But outside the cities the frankpledges or 
tithingmen perform these duties. 

Here follow the essoins. And it is to be known that in 
the courts of the magnates and others and in the hundreds 
and counties after the title of the roll there shall be 
inserted — First the essoiners are called. Then in the first 



81 MODUS TENEXDI CLTTMAS. 

toribus curie excepto comitatu tali modo — A. cle communi 
per S. de T. — B. de eodem per V. de X. Et sic de singulis, 
et habet talem intellectum A. essoniat se de communi secta 
per S. Deinde sequuntur immediate essonia placitorum. 
Et primo de placito terre sic — A. versus B. de placito terre 
— vel sic melius — A. tenens vel exigens (seu petens ^) versus 

B. de placito terre etc. Et si procedatur ad judicium vel 
ad inquisitionem vel ad legem vadiatam tune sic~A. 
tenens versus B. de placito terre unde judicium, vel unde 
inquisitio, vel unde duellum vadiatum. Et si plures sunt 
tenentes in communi tune sic — A. tenens una cum B. 
versus etc. ; item idem tenens B. una cum predicto A. etc. 
Item si plures sunt exigentes (seu petentes^) et plures 
tenentes tune sic — A. exigens una cum B. et C. versus D. 
et E. de placito etc.; item idem B. exigens una cum 
predictis A. et C. versus D. et E. etc. Item si tenens forte 
vocaverit ad warrantum tune si exigens (sive petens ^) 
essoniari voluerit hoc erit versus tenentem in dominico set 
non versus vocatum ad warrantum antequam warranti- 
zaverit, quia oportet esse tenentem in dominico vel per 
warrantiam. set warrantus non est tenens antequam 
warrantizaverit, et tune primo versus eum essoniari et non 
versus tenentem in dominico necesse est, hoc modo — A. 
versus C. quem B. vocavit ad warrantum de placito terre 
etc. — et addatur — unde ad judicium, vel inquisitionem etc. 
Item si vocatus ad warrantiam essoniari voluerit tune sic — 

C. quem B. vocavit ad warrantiam versus A. de placito 
terre etc. Et si plures sint vocati tune sic — C. quem B. 
vocavit ad warrantum una cum D. et E. versus A. etc. 
Item si attornatus essoniari voluerit, tune sic — A. 
attornatus B. versus C. etc. Item si duo fuerint attornati 
tune sic — A. unus attornatorum B. versus C. ; item D. 
alter attornatus B. versus C. etc. 

Idem modus observandus est in brevibus de ingressu 
in banco, set de aliis essoniis aliud notandum est sicut de 

' Interlined. ^ Interlined. ^ Interlined. 



THE MANNER OF HOLDING COURTS. 81 

place, except in a county court, are entered the essoins of 
the suitors of the court, thus — A. of the common by S. 
of T. — B. of the same by V. of X. And so with the rest ; 
and this means, A. essoins himself of the common suit by 
S. Then follow at once the essoins of pleas. And first of 
pleas of land, thus — A. against B.^ in a plea of land — or 
better thus : A. tenant or demandant against B. in a plea 
of land etc. And if the cause stands for judgment, or for 
inquest, or for wager of law, then thus : A. tenant against 
B. in a plea of land which stands for judgment, or for 
inquest, or for wager of battle. And if there be several 
tenants in common, then thus : A. tenant with B. against 
etc ; also the same B. tenant with the said A. etc. And if 
there be several demandants and several tenants, then 
thus : A. demandant along with B. and C. against D. and 
E. in a plea etc. ; also the said B. demandant along with 
the said A. and C. against D. and E. Also if the tenant 
has vouched to warranty, then if the demandant will essoin 
himself, this must be against the tenant in demesne and 
not against the vouchee before he has warranted, for he 
against whom one essoins oneself ought to be tenant either 
in demesne or by warranty, and the vouchee is not tenant 
until he has warranted, but after this one must essoin 
oneself against him and not against the tenant in demesne, 
thus : A. against C. whom B. vouched to warranty in a 
plea of land etc. — and here add : which stands for judgment, 
or inquest etc. Also if the vouchee will essoin himself, 
then thus : C. whom B. vouched to warranty against A. in 
a plea of land. And if there be several vouchees, then 
thus : C. whom B. vouched to warranty along with D. and 
E. against A. etc. Also if an attorney will essoin himself, 
then thus : A. attorney of B. against C. etc. Also if there 
be two attorneys, then thus : A. one of the attorneys of 
B. against C. ; also I), the other of the attorneys of B. 
against C. etc. 

The same course should be observed in writs of entry 
in the Bench, but as to other ^ essoins there is a different 

* The writer has liitheito been ppepking only of the common essoin 
de malo i^Ptncndi. 



82 MODUS TENENDI CUEIAS, 

ultra mare, de servitio domini Eegis, de malo lecti. Et 
primo de ultra mare Grecorum sic — A. quod est ultra mare 
Grecorum in generali passagio Cristianorum in Terram 
Sanctam versus B. etc. De simplici peregrinatione sic — A. 
quod est ultra mare Grecorum in simplici peregrinatione 
Terre Sancte versus B de placito terre per etc. Item de 
ultra mare simpliciter sic — A. quod est ultra mare 
Angl[icum] apud Montem Pessolanum versus B. etc. Item 
de servitio domini Eegis sic — A. quod est in servitio domini 
Regis versus B. etc. Item de malo lecti sic— A qui lan- 
guidus est apud Nortone de malo lecti versus B. de placito 
terre etc. Et si plures fuerint petentes sive tenentes et 
unus eorum omnium attornatus voluerit essoniari, tunc sic 
— A. pro se et pro B. C. et D. quorum est attornatus versus 
E. et F. de placito assise mortis antecessor is per etc. Set 
in placito assise nove disseisine querens et non tenens 
poterit essoniari hoc modo — A. querens versus B. deforci- 
antem de placito assise nove disseisine per etc. Set in 
attinctis sic — A. de B. de placito terre unde attincta viginti 
quatuor ad convincendum duodecim per etc. 

Set de aliis essoniis que non sunt pure de placito terre 
sicut de conventionibus et hujusmodi, sic — A. versus B. de 
placito conventionis per C. Item de debito sic — A. 
versus B. de placito debiti per C. Item de injusta deten- 
tione sic — A. versus B. de placito injuste detentionis unius 
equi, jumente, bovis, vacce, ovis, porci, auce, galline — vel 
sic — unius robe, unius anuli, vel alterius rei detente 
secundum genus suum. Sed de captione et detentione 
sic — A. versus B. de placito captionis et detentionis 
catallorum vel averiorum vel alterius singularis rei secun- 
dum genus suum ut supra. De transgressione — A. que- 
rens versus B. de placito transgressionis per C. — vel sic — 
A. defendens versus B. de placito transgressionis per C. 
primo, vel secundo, vel tercio. Item in brevi annui 
redditus sic — A. defendens versus B. de placito annui red- 
ditus. Nee ponatur defendens nisi quando breve est in 



THE :\rANXF.E OF HOLDING COT^T^TS. 8'2 

course, as for instance the essoins 'beyond seas,' 'king's 
service,' or ' bed sickness.' And first as to * beyond Greek 
sea,' thus : A. for that he is beyond the sea of the Greeks 
in a general expedition of Christians to the Holy Land,' 
against B. etc. Of a * simple pilgrimage,' thus : A. for that 
he is beyond the sea of the Greeks in a simple pilgrimage 
to the Holy Land, against B. in a plea of land by etc. 
Also in a simple * beyond seas,' thus : A. for that he is 
beyond the English sea at Montpellier, against B. etc. Also 
of * king's service,' thus : A. for that he is in the king's 
service, against B. etc. Also of * bed sickness,' thus : A. 
who is ill at Norton with a bed sickness, against B. in a 
plea of land, etc. And if there be several demandants or 
tenants and one of them who is the attorney of all will 
essoin himself, then thus : A, for himself and for B. C. and 
D. whose attorney he is against E. and F. in a plea of an 
assize of mort d'ancestor by etc. But in a plea of an assize 
of novel disseisin the plaintiff, but not the defendant, can 
essoin himself, thus : A. plaintiff against B. deforciant in a 
plea of an assize of novel disseisin by etc. But in an 
attaint, thus : A. of B. in a plea of land in which an attaint 
by twenty-four jurors to convict the twelve, by etc. 

And as to other essoins which are not in mere pleas of 
land, as in covenant or the like, thus : A. against B. in a 
plea of covenant by C. And in debt thus : A. against B. 
in a plea of debt by C. And in detinue, thus : A. against 
B. in a plea of wrongful detention of a horse, mare, ox, cow, 
sheep, pig, goose, hen, — or thus : of a cloak, a ring, or 
other the thing detained as the case may be. But of cap- 
tion and detinue, thus : A. against B. in a plea of caption 
and detinue of chattels or beasts or of some particular 
thing according to its kind, as above. Of trespass, thus : 
A. plaintiff against B. in a plea of trespass by C. — or thus : 
A. defendant against B. in a plea of trespass by C. a first 
or a second or a third time. Also in a writ of annuity, 
thus : A. defendant against B. in a plea of annuity ; and 
one does not say * defendant ' except so long as the writ ia 

' That is, in a crusade. 
VOL. IV. L 



83 MODUS TENENDI CUKIAS. 

comitatn. Item de placito nocumentorum — A. defendens 
versus B. de placito nocumenti per etc. 

Deinde essoniis sic seriatim irrotulatis, tunc primo 
optulationes partium inscribantur sic — A. optulit se versus 
B. de hutesio levato et posuit se in inquisitionem utrum 
hutesium levaverit injuste. Amercietur autem ille qui 
hutesium levaverit injuste et etiam ille super quern juste 
fuerit levatum. Et sic de omnibus transgressoribus pacis 
per presentationem decenariorum vel duodecim iuratorum 
violatis.^ Et notandum est quod postquam aliquis fuerit 
sumonitus vel per pleggios justitiatus ad instantiam partis 
poterit primo die essoniari vel comparere et defendere se et 
contradicere et legem vadiare, et tunc ad proximam curiam 
sive hundredum poterit essoniari de lege sua facienda et si 
eam fecerit quietus erit et alius in misericordia remanebit. 
Et sic de aliis optulationibus sicut de legibus. 

Set isto modo debent narrationes querelarum et earum 
responsiones notari in comitatibus, hundredis, curiis 
baronum, militum et libère tenentium : — A. optulit se 
versus B. et queritur de eo quod tali die anno et loco 
insultum fecit in eumdem A. verbis contumeliosis vocando 
ipsum falsum, perversum et illegalem traditorem et im- 
posuit ei furtum fecisse de tali re — vel sic — imposuit ei 
quod debuit fecisse aliquod aliud delictum, et specificare ^ 
secundum quod ei impositum fuerit, et percussit eum in 
capite vel alibi in corpore cum pungno vel cum baculo sive 
cum aliquo armo, et in via regia vel alibi prostravit, pannos 
suos fregit et maletractavit injuste et contra pacem domini, 
vel ballivorum vel vicecomitis, et ad dampnum ipsius A. x. s. 
et inde producit sectam. 

EtB. défendit vim et injuriam et omnes transgressiones 
quicquid est contra pacem domini, ballivi vel vicecomitis, 
et dampna ipsius A. x. s. etc. et quicquid ei imponitur negat 
de verbo ad verbum. Ideo ad legem sexta manu. Pleggii 
de lege C. et D. 

'Sic. '^ Or sjpecifica re [?]. 



THE MANNER OF HOLDING COURTS. 88 

in the county court.'' Also in a plea of nuisance, thus : A. 
defendant against B. in a plea of nuisance by etc. 

Then, the essoins being thus enrolled in order, the 
appearances of the parties are entered, thus : A. offered 
himself against B. for hue levied and put himself upon an 
inquest as to whether he levied the hue wrongfully. And 
he who levies the hue wrongfully shall be amerced, also he 
against whom it is levied rightfully. And thus as to all 
trespasses against the peace presented by the tithingmen 
or twelve jurors. And note that when anyone has been 
summoned or attached by pledges he may as he pleases 
essoin himself on the first day or appear and defend himself 
and deny the charge and wage his law, and then at the 
next court or hundred he may be essoined of making his 
law, and if he makes it he shall be quit and the other party 
shall be in mercy. And so with the other appearances, as 
in the case of appearances for making law. 

And this is the manner in which counts of plaints and 
answers thereto should be written down in counties and hun- 
dreds and the courts of barons, knights and freeholders: — 
A. offered himself against B. and complaineth for that he 
on such a day and in such a place made an assault against 
the said A. with contumelious W'Ords calling him a false 
perjured and lawless traitor and charged him with having 
made theft of such a thing — or thus : charged him with 
some other offence, which should be specified, and struck 
him on the head or elsewhere on his body with his fist or 
a stick or some weapon, and threw him down in the king's 
highway or elsewhere, and tore his clothes and maltreated 
him, wrongfully, against the peace of the lord, or bailiffs, 
or sheriff, and to A.'s damage 10 s. ; and thereof he 
produceth suit. 

And B. defendeth tort and force, and all trespass and 
all that is against the peace of the lord, or bailiff*, or sheriff*, 
and the dam.ages of the said A. 10 s. etc. and whatever is 
surmised against him he denieth word by word. Therefore 
to the law six-handed. Pledges for his law C. and D. 

• The meaning of this clause I can,not explain. 

•L 2 



84 MODUS TENENDI CURIAS. 

De débite sic : — A. optulit se versus B. et queritur de 
eodem B. quod ei injuste detinet x. s. quos ei debet eo quod 
tali die tali anno et tali loco predictus B. obligavit se teneri 
- — vel — concessit se teneri aliqua certa de causa, vel, ab 
eodem A. ex mutuo recepit denarios vel denariatas tales 
sive catalla solvendos tali die tali anno et loco tali, quibus 
predictos x. s. ab eodem petiit qui solvere recusavit et 
reddere noluit immo detinuit et adhuc detinet injuste — set 
non dicatur contra pacem, set — ad dampnum dimidie marce 
et producit sectam. 

B. défendit vim et injur iam et omnem detentionem 
debiti et dampnum, et petit diem amoris. Et prece par- 
tium datus est eis dies amoris — vel sic — per considerationem 
curie ad petitionem partium concessa est licencia concor- 
dandi usque ad proximam curiam sive hundredum etc. 

Et sciendum autem est quod ad solam vocem sine secta 
non debet quis audiri, set hoc in primis calumpnietur. Et 
ad legem vadiandam oportet defendentem offerre se fac- 
turum contra querentem et ejus sectam, si enim negaverit 
contra querentem et non contra sectam in misericordia 
tamquam indefensus remaneret. Sciendum est quoque 
quod non est necesse in aliquo placito ponere horam facti in 
scripto nisi in placitis corone vel quando pax domini Kegis 
infringitur, ibi enim necesse est ponere locum et horam 
anni. 

Defalta tenentis in brevi de recto sic debet irrotulari — A. 
optulit se versus B. de placito unius mesuagii per breve 
Regis de recto et B. non venit set alias fecit defaltam ita 
quod preceptum fuit ballivo quod caperet dictum mesuagium 
in manum domini Regis et ballivus testatur diem captionis 
et dictum B. alias sumonitum quod veniat ad audiendum 
judicium suum, et iterum facit defaltam, ideo consideratum 
est quod predictus N. recuperet seisinam per defaltam et 
dictus B. in misericordia. 



THE MANNER OF HOUSING COURTS. 84 

Of debt thus : — A offered himself against B. and com- 
piaineth that the said B. wrongfully detaineth from him 10 s. 
which he oweth him for that at such a time and place the 
said B. bound himself to be holden — or, granted himself to be 
holden for a certain cause — or, received from the said A. by 
way of loan such and such money or money's worth or chattels 
to be paid at such a time and place, at which time and place 
the said A. demanded from him the said 10 s., but he refused 
to render them, and detained and still detains them— one 
does not say here against the peace but — to the damage [of 
A.] a half-mark, and he produces suit. 

B. defendeth tort and force and all detention of debt 
and the damage, and he craveth a love-day. And on the 
prayer of the parties a love-day is given them — or thus : 
and by award of the court on the prayer of the parties leave 
is granted them to make compromise before the next court 
or hundred etc. 

And it is to be known that the mere parol of a 
man without suit shall not be heard, but this objection 
must be taken at the outset. And when a defendant offers 
to wage his law he should offer to make it against the 
plaintiff and against the plaintiff's suit, for if he denies 
merely against the plaintiff and not against his suit he shall 
be in mercy as one who is undefended. And it is to be 
known also that it is not necessary in any plea to specify 
the hour at which a deed was done, except in the pleaa of 
the crown or where there is breach of the king's peace, for 
there it is necessary to set down the place and the yea v and 
the hour. 

The default of a tenant in a writ of right should be en- 
rolled thus : — A. offered himself against B. in a plea of a 
messuage by the king's writ of right and B. hath not come, 
and on a previous occasion he made default so that the 
bailiff was commanded to seize the said messuage into the 
king's hand, and the baihff testifieth the day of the seizure 
and that B. was summoned a second time to come and hear 
his judgment ; and he again maketh default ; therefore it 
is considered that the said N. \j..e. A.] do recover his seisin 
by default and thai the said B. be in mercy. 



85 MODUS TEI^ENDI CURLVS. 

A. et B. attachiati sunt ad respondendum C. de placito 
quare vi et injuste. et contra pacem etc. blada ipsius C. in 
terra sua crescentia messuerunt et asportaverunt, pomeria 
et alias arbores ibidem crescentes succiderunt et domos suas 
prostraverunt et alia dampna enormia ei intulerunt ad 
grave dampnum ipsius C. decern mar car um contra pacem. 

Dicti vero A. et B. venerunt et defenderunt vim et 
injuriam et quandoque deberent totam transgressionem 
iterare ^ et petunt quod inqairatur per veredictum loci. Et 
juratores dicunt quod predicti A. et B. non fecerunt pre- 
dictum malum predicto C. nee in aliquo sunt inde culpabiles 
sicut illis imponitur. Ideo consideratum est quod predicti 
A. et B. recédant sine die et predictus C. in misericordia. 

Warrantizatio essoniorum debet irrotulari — A. optulit 
se versus B. ad warrantizandum essonium suum. Set ex 
antiquo warrantizari solet in modo subscripto. A. optulit 
se versus B. ad warrantizandum essonium suum de assisa 
panis fracta et bene cognovit ideo in misericordia. 

B. optulit se versus C. ad legem suam faciendam, et illam 
fecit sexta manu, et ideo quietus recessit. 

D. etE. concordati sunt ita quod predictus D. remansit 
in misericordia de omnibus concordantiis. 

F. retraxit se de lege sua facienda. Ideo in misericordia. 
Plegii de misericordia G. et H. 

Sequitur de appellatione in comitatu secundum usum 

antiquorum. Aliquis vulneratus, male verberatus forte, 

venerit in caretta ad placitandum per appellum in comitatu 

Oram coronatoribus, tutor suus faciet querelam suam hujus- 



Sic. 



THE MANNER OF HOLDING COURTS. 85 

A. and B. are attached to answer C. why by force and 
wrongfully and against the peace etc. they cut and carried 
away the corn of the said C. growing on his land — or, 
cut down his apple and other trees and pulled down his 
houses and other enormous damages to him did, to the 
heavy damage of the said C. of 10 marks against the 
peace. 

And the said A. and B. have come and defend tort and 
force and will defend when it shall behove them — and the 
whole charge of trespass is to be repeated — and they crave 
that this may be inquired by a verdict of the neighbour- 
hood. And the jurors say that the said A. and B. did 
not the said evil to the said C. nor are they in anywise 
guilty of what is charged against them. Therefore it is 
considered that the said A. and B. do go thence without 
day and that the said C. be in mercy. 

The warrant of essoins should be eni'olled thus : — A. 
offered himself against B. to warrant his essoin. But in 
old times the warranty was in this manner : — A. offered him- 
self against B. to warrant his essoin of breach of the assize 
of bread and * confessed and therefore was in mercy. 

B. offered himself against C. to make his law, and made 
it six-handed, and therefore went quit. 

D. and E. have made concord so that D. remained in 
mercy for all their concords. 

F. withdrew himself from making his law. Therefore 
in mercy. Pledges for the amercement, G. and H. 

Here followeth an appeal in the county according to the 
use of men of old time. A man wounded, or it may be 
badly beaten, comes in a cart to plead in an appeal in the 
county before the coroners, and his guardian shall make his 



* The meaning of this may be niendi ' had become so much a fiction 

that B confesses the truth of ^'s that if a litigant offered to warrant 

excuse without putting 4 to his oath his essoin this was considered enough, 

(which would generally be a false and his adversary was not put to the 

oath), and therefore B is amerced. choice of admitting the truth of the 

Bracton, f. 352, says : ' non est de excuse or insisting on an oath the 

warrantizatione essonii multum cu- truth of which he was not allowed 

randum.' I take it that in our to dispute, 
author's day the cSooin ' de malo vc- 



86 MODUS TENENDI CURIAS. 

modo, quam quidem querelam clericus irrotulabit sic. — A. 
appellat B. quod cum esset in pace Dei et domini Regis, 
tali die tali hora tali anno in tali loco, in terram suam pro- 
priam, predictus B. ilium ibi assultavit, verberavit et 
nequiter vulneravit in capite cum ense ut videri poterit, et 
hoc paratus est probare ubi et quando debet. Talis vocatus 
in comitatu non comparuit. Coronatores missi fuerunt [ad] * 
servandum vulnus. W. et J. viderunt vulnus et fuit de lon- 
gitudine unius pollicii et dimidii et tante profunditatis ut 
eis videbatur quod de vita sua desperabatur. Et vicecomes 
accepit securitatem de prosequendo et jussit quod talis 
caperetur ubicumque inveniretur excepta ecclesia et cimi- 
terio. 

Ad alium vero comitatum lesus venit et emendatus est 
ejus status. Alter cito comparuit et per plegios dimissus 
est usque adventum justiciariorum. Lesus ante proximum 
comitatum mortuus est. Quo mortuo jussit vicecomes 
alterum comprehendi, et inquisitionem fecit utrum tali 
vulnere obierit vel non. Et testificatum fuit quod vulnere. 
Ad alium vero comitatum appellatus non comparuit nee ad 
secundum comitatum nee tertium nee quartum. Ideo per 
considerationem comitatus utlagatur. 

Nunc sequitur de querelis provenientibus in curiis sim- 
plicibus. Intitulatio curie. Curia domini E. de D. tenta 
apud N. tali die tali anno etc. Essonia de communi ut supra. 
A. versus B. de placito pleggiagii per C. etc. ut supra. 

Narratio transgressionis. A. queritur de B. quod tali 
die tali anno idem B. venit ad unam divisam que est inter 
terram dicti A. et B. ubi amputavit unam quantitatem bladi 
in dicta divisa et adduxit ad curiam suam etc. injuste contra 
pacem domini et ad dampnum dicti A. tantum, et inde 
ducit sectam. 

B. sic inculpatus venit et défendit verba curie et bene 
cognovit amputationem illius bladi sicut de illo quod crevit 



A ciuali hole in MS. 



THE MANNER OF HOLDING COURTS. 86 

plaint in this manner and the clerk shall enrol it thus : — A. 
appealeth B. for that whereas he was in the peace of God 
and of our lord the king on such a year, day, hour, in such 
a place, upon his own land, the said B. there assaulted, 
beat and wickedly wounded him in the head with a sword 
as may be seen ; and this he is ready to prove when and 
where he ought. The appellee being called in the county 
did not come. The coroners were sent to see the wound. 
W. and J. saw the wound, and it was one inch and a half 
in length and so deep that it seemed to them that his life 
was desperate. And the sheriff took surety for the prosecu- 
tion and commanded that the appellee should be taken 
wherever he might be found save in church or churchyard. 

At a subsequent county came the wounded man and his 
condition was less evil. And the other appeared and was 
dismissed on pledges until the coming of the justices. But 
the wounded man died before the next county. And upon 
his death the sheriff commanded the other to be seized and 
took an inquest as to whether the wound was the cause of 
death or no. And it was testified that the wound caused 
death. And at the next county the appellee did not appear, 
nor at the second, nor at the third, nor at the fourth. 
Therefore by award of the county he is outlawed. 

Now followeth as to pleas which occur in simple * courts. 
Title of the court. Court of Sir E. of D. holden at N. on 
such a date etc. Essoins of the common suit, as above ; A. 
against B. in a plea of suretyship by C. etc., as above. 

Count in trespass. A. complaineth of B. that on such a 
day the said B. came to a boundary balk which is between 
the land of the said A. and B. and there cut a quantity of 
corn on the said balk and carried it oft' to his court etc. 
wrongfully, against the peace of the lord and to the damage 
of the said A. in such a sum ; and thereof he produceth 
suit. 

B. thus charged came and defendeth the words of court 
and fully confessed the cutting of that corn as of corn that 

' That is to cay, in ordinary seignorial courts when there is no view 
of frankpledge. 



87 MODUS TENENDI CURIAS. 

super terram suain propiiam et hoc paratus est probare 
quando et quomodo ^ curia consideraverit ubi et quando 
debet. 

Alia transgressio. A. queritur de B. Bercatore quod 
tali die tali anno tali loco occidit quendam porcum suum 
masculum in pastura domini sui qui fuit appreciatus ad 
valorem trium solidorum injuste contra pacem ad dampnum 
etc. 

Et B. venit et défendit verba curie et totum de verbo ad 
verbum contra dictum A. et ejus sectam. Et consideratum 
est a curia quod sufficienter negavit. Et legem vadiavit. 
Pleggii de lege. 

Item testificatum est per E. servientem quod P. le Long 
fuit sumonitus ad curiam quod veniret ad respondendum 
ballivo vel alicui alteri. Et non venit. Ideo distringatur. 
Item testatum est quod E. ballivus habet unum equum vel 
duo averia pro districtione facienda, et consideratum est 
quod teneat ea et capiat plura. Item preceptum fuit ser- 
vienti quod E. distringatur quia non venit ad faciendum 
linem pro misericordia. 

Modo restât videri de querelis magne curie et de capi- 
tulis querendis in eadem. Intitulatio. Magna curia tenta 
apud N. post festum S. Micliaelis tali die et anno. Primo 
inquisitum fuit de visu francipleggii utrum quilibet pleg- 
giagius capitalis sciret quot et quos haberet in decena sua, 
et utrum aliquis xij. annorum esset qui non est in decena, 
et quis ille esset, et utrum acceptabilis esset ad recipiendum 
in decena. Tunc scribatur nomen ejus si presens fuerit et 
dabit clerico unum denarium. Postea scribantur capitula 
subscripta et distincte eis legantur ut possint ad ea respon- 
dere. 

De capitulis querendis. De placitis corone concelatis. 
De usuratoribus Cristianorum. De uxoribus fugitoriis quis 
eas retentat. De falsis monetariis. De ponderibus, ulnis, 
bussellis et lagenis. De liominibus utlagatis, qui eos 
retentant sine waranto. De catallis fugitivorum '^ conce- 
latis. De thesauro invento quis illud invenit. Do purpres- 
' Qno ct 2''' MS. ■ sugatoniin MS. 



THE MANNER OF HOLDING COURTS, 87 

grew upon his own land, and this he is ready to prove 
when and as the court shall consider that prove he 
ought. 

Another trespass. A. complaineth of B. the shepherd 
that on such a day at such a place he killed one male pig 
of his in the lord's pasture which was appraised at 3 s., 
wrongfully, against the peace, to the damage etc. 

And B. has come and defendeth the words of court and 
all of it word by word against the said A. and his suit. 
And it is considered by the court that he has sufficiently 
denied. And he waged his law. Pledges for his law, etc. 

Also it was witnessed by R. the sergeant that P. Long 
was summoned to the court to come and answer to the 
bailiff or someone else. And he has not come. Therefore 
be he distrained. And it is witnessed that the bailiff has 
already a horse, or two beasts, by way of distress ; and it 
is considered that he do hold these and do take more. Also 
it is commanded to the sergeant that R. be distrained for 
not coming to make fine for his amercement. 

And now it remaineth for us to see the plaints in a great 
court and the articles of inquest therein. Title : — Great 
court holden at N. after the feast of S. Michael on such a 
day and year. First it was inquired as to the view of 
frankpledge, whether each chief pledge knoweth how many 
and whom he hath in his tithing, and whether any of the 
age of twelve years be not in tithing, and if so who, and 
whether he be an acceptable person to be received into 
tithing. Then let his name be enrolled if he be present, 
and he shall give to the clerk one penny. Afterwards the 
following articles shall be written down and clearly read to 
them that they may make answer thereto. 

Of inquest on the articles. Of pleas of the crown con- 
cealed. Of the usurers of Christians.^ Of runaway wives 
and who retaineth them. Of false moneyers. Of weights, 
measures, bushels, and gallons. Of outlaws, and who re- 
tain them without warrant. Of the chattels of fugitives 
concealed. Of treasure trove, who found it. Of purprestures 

■ Sic. But perhaps it should be ' of Christian usurers.' 



88 MODUS TENENDI CUKIAS. 

turis factis super terrain vel per aquam. De hominibus qui 
hospitant extraneos. ultra unam noctem. Si aliquis sit in 
villa qui non sit in pleggiagio. 

Sequitur videre de querelis evenientibus in hundredis 
vel similibus. Intitulatio hundredi. Hundredum tentum 
apud N. tali die, tali anno etc. A. versus B.* de communi 
secta curie etc. ut supra de essoniis. 

G. de K. venit ad hundredum et probavit sexta manu 
quod duo boviculi qui vendicabantur erant suum proprium 
catallum, et invenit pleggios N. et N. qui respondebunt pro 
dictis boviculis per unum annum si quis eos vendicaverit. 

M. de N. qui fuit essoniatus contra ballivum modo non 
venit. Ideo distringatur. 

E. de C. attachiatur ad proximum hundredum quia non 
habuit warrantum suum. 

Datus est dies amoris A. querenti quod concordet cum 
suo adversario, salvo jure domini in omnibus — vel sic — 
Datus est dies amoris prece partium A. et B. ad proximum 
hundredum sine essonio. 

Abbas de B. facit attornatum suum C. ad sequendum 
vel ad sectam faciendum pro eo ad hundredum quotiens 
necesse fuerit. 

Braciatrices sumonite fuerunt pro assisa cervisie fracta. 
Modo non venerunt. Ideo distringantur. 

De inquisitione facienda de via regia obstructa vel 
artata per quatuor villatas proxima presentetur. 

Et sciendum insuper quod omne hutesium levatum et 
omnis violenta effusio sanguinis in patria debet presentari in 
hundredo nisi fuerint de medletis puerorum vel vetularum. 

Notandum est quod si pontes alicubi fracti fuerint fiet 
emendatio per iiij. villatas proximas. 

Et nunc videndum est [de] ^ provenientibus in comitati- 
bus et similibus. Intitulatio. Comitatus tentus apud N. 
tali die, tali anno etc. 

' Corr. A.deB. ' Om. MS. 



THE MANNER OE HOLDING COT^RTS. 8§ 

committed on land or in water. Of those who entertain 
strangers beyond one night. Whether there be any in the 
vill who is not in pledge. 

It remaineth to consider of plaints which occur in 
hundreds and the like. Title : — Hundred holden at N. such 
a day and year etc. A. of B. of the common suit of court 
etc. — but see above as to essoins. 

G. of K. Cometh to the hundred and proveth six-handed 
that two bullocks which were claimed were his own proper 
chattel, and he findeth pledges N. and N. who will answer 
for the said oxen during one year in case any shall claim 
them. 

M. of N. who was essoined against the bailiff doth not 
come. Therefore be he distrained. 

Be R. of C. attached for the next hundred for not pro- 
ducing his warrantor. 

A love-day is given to A. plaintiff that he may make 
concord with his adversary, saving the lord's right in all 
things — or thus : a love-day is given to A. and B. on the 
prayer of the parties until the next hundred, when no essoin 
is to be received. 

The Abbot of B. maketh C. his attorney to sue, or to 
make suit, for him at the hundred whensoever there be 
need. 

The brewing women were summoned for breach of the 
assize of beer. They have not come. Therefore be they 
distrained. 

As to any obstruction or straitening of the king's high- 
way, let an inquest be made by the four neighbouring 
townships, and let presentment be made at the next session. 

Also it is to be known that every hue raised and all 
blood shed by force in the country is to be presented in the 
hundred, save mere squabbles among boys or old women. 

Also note that if any bridges be broken they should be 
repaired by the four neighbouring townships. 

And now we must consider what happens in counties 
and the like. Title : — County holdon at N. such a day and 
year etc. 



89 MODUS TENENDI CUEIA.S. 

A. queritur de B. quod ipse injuste contra pacem vice- 
comitis cepit duos boves suos nigros super terram suam et 
eos abduxit ad curiam suam de N. et eos ibi tenuit a die 
Lune predicto usque ad diem Jovis contra vadium et pleg- 
gios, ita quod non potuit eos deliberare nisi per ballivos 
domini Eegis, unde dampnatus est ad dimidiam mar cam et 
inde habet sectam. 

A. sumonitus fuit ad proximum comitatum. Modo non 
venit. Ideo distringatur. 

A. qui portavit breve domini Regis versus B. concordati 
sunt ^ ambo sine licencia. Ideo in misericordia remanent 
et distringantur ad faciendum finem pro misericordia. 

M. de N. venit in pleno [comitatu ^] et cognovit se pro 
nativo J. de K. super quern portavit breve de nayvitate. 
Ideo in misericordia. 

Sciendum est quod querele corone debent attachiari per 
coronatores et ville debent citari ante adventum justiciario- 
rum prêter abjurationem terre et tunc debent recitari in 
adventu justitiariorum. 

De fugientibus ad ecclesiam. Contigit in comitatu Lin- 
colnie quod quidam homo nomine P. fugit ad ecclesiam pro 
suspitione latrocinii. Coronator venit ad eum et jussit eum 
venire ad pacem domini Regis. Et dicit quod non vult 
quia recognovit se esse latronem et occisorem hominum et 
maxime talis interfecti in tali loco, et receptorem latronum. 
Et ideo per consuetudinem regni abjuravit patriam, et datus 
est ei portus maris apud Doveriam. 

Infortunium de submersis. Contigit in comitatu N. 
tali die tali anno quod quidam puer nomine P. ibat ultra 
aquam que nominatur Tamysia, et sicut ibat ultra 
pontem per infortunium submersus est. Et J. filius W. 
cum primus invenit puerum sic submersum levavit clamo- 
rem. Coronatores nichil possunt inquirere nisi per infortu- 
nium. Pleggii ejusdem inventoris coram justiciariis M. 
et N. 

' Sic. 2 om. MS. 



THE AlANNKH OF lloLDlNi; COURTS. S9 

A. complaineth of B. for that he wrongfully against the 
peace of the sheriff took two black oxen of his upon his land 
and drove them off to his court at N. and kept them there 
from the said Monday until the Thursday next against gage 
and pledge, so that he could not get them delivered without 
the aid of the king's bailiffs, so that he hath damage a half- 
mark and thereof he hath suit. 

A was summoned to the next county. He doth not 
come. Therefore be he distrained. 

A., who brought the king's writ against B., and B. have 
made concord without leave. Therefore they are in mercy, 
and be they distrained to make fine for the amercement. 

M. of N. came into the full [county] and confessed him- 
self the born bondman of J. of K. against whom he had 
brought a writ of neifty. Therefore be he in mercy. 

It is to be known that plaints touching the crown should 
bo attached by the coroners, and the vills ought to be cited 
before the coming of the justices, save in the case of abju- 
ration of tlie realm, and then they ought to be cited a 
second time on the coming of the justices. 

^ Of those who take sanctuary. It fell out that in the 
county of Lincoln a man P. by name fled to church for sus- 
picion of larceny. The coroner came to him and bade him 
come in to the king's peace. But he said that he would 
not, for he confessed himself a thief and a manslayer, in 
particular of such an one slain in such a place, and a 
receiver of thieves. And therefore according to the custom 
of the realm he abjured the land, and Dover w^as assigned 
as his port. 

Of one drowned by misadventure. It fell out in the 
county of N., such a day such a year, that a certain boy P. 
by name was crossing the water called the Thames, and as 
he went across the bridge he w^as drowned by misadventure. 
And J. the son of W. on finding him levied the cry. The 
coroners can discover by inquest no more than that this 
was by misadventure. Pledges for producing the finder 
before the justices, M. and N. 

' We seem liere to liave precedents for coroners' rolls. 



90 MODUS TENENDI CURIAS. 

De appellationibus nichil ad presens quia plenius infra. 

Nunc sequitur de inquisitione mortis hominis et aliorum 
malorum. Set si quis appellatus de morte hominis non 
debet dimitti per pleggios usque adventum justiciariorum 
nisi per preceptum domini Eegis. 

Inquisitio facta apud N. tali die de morte talis coram 
viecomite et coronatorpbus] per iiij. villatas, qui omnes 
dicunt per suum sacramentum quod W. de N. consentiebat 
morti P. de Q., unde preceptum est servienti quod capiat 
predictum W. et quod catalla sua attachiantur et appré- 
ciant ur. 

Sequitur de odio et atya et de modo inbreviandi coram 
justiciariis. Et notandum est quod cum tota patria fuerit 
congregata debent eligi xij. fidèles homines et légales et 
nomina eorum inbreviari et postea prisones coram justiciario 
debent adduci. 

Captiones laycorum. A. de B. captus et imprisonatus est 
apud N. pro suspitione latrocinii. Venit et défendit latro- 
cinium et ponit se super sacramentum xij. juratorum, qui 
omnes dicunt per suum sacramentum quod non est in culpa 
de dicto latrocinio nee receptamento nee de aliis malis. 
Ideo eat quietus. 

K. de C. captus et imprisonatus pro morte P. venit et 
défendit dictam mortem, unde posuit se super sacramentum 
xij. juratorum, qui dicunt per sacramentum suum quod est 
in culpa de dicta morte et aliis malis, et ideo habeat judi- 
cium quod suspendatur, et catalla sua attachiantur et 
appreciantur. 

Duo ignoti homines apud E. a ballivis domini Eegis 
violenter capti sunt et imprisonati pro suspitione latrocinii 
vel robberie. Defendunt dictum latrocinium et non ponunt 
se super patriam, set volunt defendere per corpora sua. 
Ideo reponantur in gayolam. 



THE MANNER OF HOLDING COURTS. î)0 

As to appeals nothing at present, for more of them 
below.* 

Now we treat of an inquest touchmg the death of a man 
and other evil doings. And if any be appealed of a man's 
death he is not to be released by pledges to produce him on 
the coming of the justices, unless by the King's command. 

Inquest made at N. on such a day on the death of such 
an one before the sheriff and coroners by four townships. 
They all say upon their oath that W. of N. was consenting 
to the death of P. of Q. Wherefore the serjeant is com- 
manded that he do take the said W. and that his chattels be 
attached and appraised. 

And now as to * hate and spite ' and the course of enrol- 
ling before the justices. And be it noted that when the 
whole country hath come together twelve faithful and law- 
ful men should be chosen and their names set down, and 
then the prisoners shall be brought before the justices. 

Caption of a layman. A. of B. is taken and imprisoned 
at N. for suspicion of larceny. He cometh and defendeth 
the larceny and putteth himself upon the oath of [the] twelve 
jurors. And they all say upon their oath that he is not 
guilty of the said larceny and receipt nor of other evil 
deeds. Therefore let him go quit. 

E. of C. taken and imprisoned for the death of P. 
cometh and defendeth the said death, and thereof hath put 
himself upon the oath of [the] twelve jurors. And they say 
upon their oath that he is guilty of the said death and of 
other evil deeds. Therefore let him have judgment that he 
be hanged, and let his chattels be attached and appraised. 

Two men who are unknown were forcibly taken at E. by 
the king's bailiffs and imprisoned for suspicion of larceny 
and robbery. They defend the larceny and do not put 
themselves upon the country, but wish to defend them- 
selves by their bodies. Therefore be they put back into 
gaol. 

■ This seems to refer to a tract on pleas of the crown found in the same MS. 
VOL. IV. M 



91 MODUS TENENDI CURIAS. 

Attachiamenta clericorum. Quidam F. qui (licit se 
esse clericum captus et imprisonatus appellatus est de 
quodam probatore de societate et recepto. Archidiaconus 
Norhantonie procurator domini Episcopi Lincolniensis 
venit ad petendum clericum suum ex parte episcopi. Et 
secundum consuetudinem regni liberatus est dicto episcopo 
sub pena centum librarum. 

Explicit modus tenendi curias simul et modus de crimi- 
nalibus placitis que veniunt in comitatibus et similibus. 
Set attachiamenta messorum et prepositorum notanda sunt 
hoc modo. 

A. de Monte est responsurus pro uno jumento vel uno 
equo invento in stipula domini per duas vices ; pleggii etc. 

B. est responsurus pro ovibus suis inventis in avenis ; 
pleggii etc. 

C. est responsurus quare cepit averia sua de parco domini 
sine licencia. 

Et sic de omnibus aliis attachiamentis. 

[} Quand play est en conte ou en autre meyndre court 
par pleynte e ne mie par bref, e le defendant conusse le 
trespas ou la dette, quero si il deyve estre resceu a dire rien 
pur luy desavolupeer ou ne mie. Eespondeo, si purr a bien, 
come en trespas, Je nen puis desdire que jeo ne vus feroyt 
trespas mes vus ne poez action avoyr, pur ceo qe jay fayt 
vostre asseez, et dirra coment ; e auxi en dette et allegger 
soute. Mes coment metra le defendant tiele chose a voyr 
le quel par pais ou par proeve ou per alaement. Solucio : 



' This is a marginal gloss. There is another long gloss on the mode of 
enrolling essoins, which is of little interest. 



THE MANNER OK 1Î0LDTX0 COURTS. 



f)l 



Attachment of clerks. One F. who saith that he is a 
clerk is taken and imprisoned and is appealed by an 
approver for fellowship and receipt. The Archdeacon of 
Northampton, proctor of the lord Bishop of Lincoln cometli 
and demandeth him as his clerk on behalf of the bishop. 
And according to the custom of the realm he is delivered to 
the said bishop upon a penalty of £100.* 

Here endeth the manner of holding courts and the order 
of criminal pleas which come into the counties and the like. 
But the attachments by hay wards and reeves should l)e 
noted thus : — 

A. Hill is to answer for a mare or a horse twice found 
in the lord's stubble ; his pledges etc. 

B. is to answer for his sheep found in the. oats ; his 
pledges etc. 

C. is to answer whv without leave he took his beasts 
from the lord's pound. 

And so with all other attachments. 

[When there is a plea in a county or other inferior court 
by plaint and not by writ and the defendant confesses the 
trespass or the debt, I ask, whether he can be received to 
say anything by way of avoidance ? I answer, Certainly 
he may ; thus in trespass, * I cannot deny that I did the 
trespass, but thou canst have no action against me, since I 
have made satisfaction,' and he specifies what he has done ; 
and so again in debt, where he alleges payment. But how 
shall the defendant aver this matter — by the country, or by 
proof, or by law ? ^ Answer : — in a county court or court of 



* The bishop becomes bound to 
produce him before the justices at 
the next eyre. The clergy bitterly 
complained of this procedure. A 
clerk might remain in prison five or 
six years, for the bishop dared not 
let him go before the justices in eyre 
had made their round. See Mat. 
Par. Chron. Maj. vi. .S55-6. 

" In the inferior courts special 
pleas, e.g. 'payment' in debt, ' accoid 
and satisfaction ' In trespass, are 



possible. The defendant who sets 
them up must otïer some mode of 
averment. Our glossator discusses 
four modes, (1) ' the country,' i.e. 
the verdict of a jury, (2) ' the law,' 
i.e. compurgation, (8) ' suit,' which 
would differ from ' law ' in that 
suitors would swear to facts, com- 
purgators to the truth of their prin- 
cipal's oath, (4) ' proof,' which seems 
the word appropiiale to a writLea 
docmnent, e.g. a lelease. 



M 2 



92 MODUS TENENDI CURIAS. 

en conte e en court de franchise come en citee e en burgs, 
par sa ley ou par pais, mes en court de baron si il conusse 
le trespas e die qell ad fait sun gree, ou il convyent qe il ceo 
tende de prover ou qe il tende suite, dunt en diverse forme 
le un e lautre est resceyvable. Quere si il die, Vou le moy 
pardonastez e ceo proveray jeo bien — en tiel cas la proeve 
gist bien.] 



THE MANNER OF HOLDING COURTS. 92 

a franchise, e.g. in a city or borough, by his law or by the 
country ; but in a court baron if he confesses the trespass 
and pleads accord and satisfaction he ought to tender 
* proof ' or * suit ' ; either of these may be received but in 
different form. Quaere, if he says, * Thou didst pardon me 
and that will I prove ' : — in such a case * proof lies.] 



93 3I0Drs TENE5P1 CUEIAS. 



IV. Modus Tenendi Curias. 

Curia de visu franciplegii tenta apud Westone die Jovis 
proxima post festum Sancti Luce anno regni regis Edwardi 
tercii post conquest um xiiii™**. 

Asson'. Johannes Pomy — de visu — per Robertum 
Clerke. 
Henricus Pike — de eodem — per Eogerum 
Modi. Aff'. 

Icy deit le seneschal charger les franciplegges de articules 
que sount apresenter a cele court e dirra ensi a la ' presentour 
le bedel tendra un liver en sa mayn e le seneschal dirra 
Tenez vos meyns vous devez lealment enquerer entre vous 
e lelement presenter touz les articles des queux vous serrez 
chargiez de part le Eoy e le seignur dy ceste court a vostre 
scient si te aide Dieux al jour de jugement. 

En primis si vous presentours estez touz cy corne estre 
deuez, e si nemye ditez nous les defautes. 

Si touz ceaux que devent la venue a la journe soient cy, 
e si non présentez les defautes. 

Si touz ceaux qui sount del age de xij. ans e de pluys 
seient en dessoyne ; e si noun ditez nous qui les ad her- 
bergee pluys. 

Si hu e cri soit leue entre vous en affray de la pees e si 
les parties furent attachiez corne estre devent par la suyte 
de la doseyne. 

Si sange soit espandu entre vous cornent e par qy e si 
les parties furent attachiez. 

Si purpresture soit fait ou en ville ou en champes, 

■ Sic. 



ïllE MANNED OF HOLDlxNTG COUKTS. 93 



IV. The Manner of Holding Courts. 

Court of View of Frankpledge holden at Weston on 
Thursday next after the feast of S. liuke m the fourteenth 
year of King Edward III. [a.d. 1340]. 

Essoins. John Pomy — of [suit to] the view — by Kobert 
Clerk. 
Henry Pike — of the same— by Koger Moody, 
Faith pledged. 

Here shall the steward charge the frankpledges with the 
articles which are to be presented at this court, and shall 
speak as follows to the presenters, and the beadle shall 
hold a book in his hand and the steward shall say : Hold 
[up] your hands. Ye shall loyally enquire among yourselves 
and loyally present all the articles of which ye shall be 
charged on behalf of the King and the lord of this court to 
the best of your knowledge. So help you God in the day 
of judgment. 

First whether ye the presenters be all here as ye should 
be ; and if not, tell us of the defaults. 

Whether all those who owe suit to this session be here ; 
and if not, present the defaults. 

Whether all those who are twelve years old and upwards 
be in a dozen ; and if not, tell us who has harboured them 
since [that age]. 

Whether hue and cry hath been levied among you in 
an affray of the peace, and if the parties were duly attached 
by the suit of the dozen. 

Whether blood hath been shed among you ; how and by 
whom, and whether the parties have been attached. 

Whether any purpresture has been made in the vill or 



94 MODUS TENENDI CURIAS. 

sicome fymer en la haut rue a noyaunce de pais ou mur 
levee par veisyn sur autre ou en la haut chemyn le Eoy 
sicome sendis ou porchis que seu iour soient abatuz ou en 
champes nul ren arree veisin sur autre e sur le haut chemyn 
le Eoy. 

Si le cours dewe soit estoppee de son droit cours ou 
par qi ou coment que tiel jour soit redresse. 

Si seinctis dever senct esglise dever moleine ou dever 
comune fontaigne soit deffait ou par qi. 

Si soient entre vou^ nullz petitz larrons corne de owes 
aues e geleynes queux y sont. 

Si soient entre vous nullz grantz larrons corne de 
chivals boefs porcs e berbys queux y sount e de lour larcine 
e de lour biens e de lour chateux. 

Si soient entre vous nullz robbiours en boys ou en le 
haut chemyn le Roy, e de lour mayntenours. 

Item si soient entre vous nullz larons qe sakent draps 
hors a fenestres de lour larcine e de lour receytours. 

Item si soient entre vous nullz herbiiorers contre lassise 
qare sovent aveigne qe herbiiorers e receytours sount mor- 
drisours de lour hostes en nutantre. 

Item si soient entre vous nullz braceresses ou regra- 
teressez qe bracent et vendunt contre lassise e ceo par faux 
mesoures. 

Item si soient entre vous nullz pestours ou regratours 
qe fornunt e vendunt payn contre lassise e ceo par faux 
peys. 

Item si soient entre vous nullz taylours qe sachient 
feare e font de un mantelle chansons e chaperons etc. 

Item si soient entre vous orfeveres qe nutantre sachient 
foundre chaleys ou eskeles ou autre vessel dargent feare de 
ceaux firmaus anelx katil pur treytorie sicome mordaunt 
ardiloun e pendauns. 



THE MANNER OE HOLDING COURTS. 91 

the fields, as for instance a dung-heap placed in the high 
street to the nuisance of the country, or a wall raised by 
one neighbour upon [the land of] another or on the King's 
highway, as for instance on roads or field-paths, that this 
day it may be abated ; or whether in the fields one neigh- 
bour hath ploughed upon [the land of] another or on the 
King's highway. 

Whether any watercourse be stopped in its right course ; 
how and by whom ; that this day it may be set right. 

Whether any paths to the church, the mill, or the 
common spring be destroyed ; and by whom. 

Whether there be among you any petty thieves, as of 
geese, ducks, and poultry ; and who they be. 

Whether there be among you any great thieves, as of 
horses, oxen, pigs and sheep ; who they be, what their 
thefts, and what their goods and chattels. 

Whether there be among you any who rob in the woods 
or on the king's highway ; and who be their maintainers. 

Whether there be among you any thieves who snatch 
cloths or other things from windows ; ^ what be their thefts 
and who their receivers. 

Whether there be among you any who harbour folk 
contrary to the assize, for often it chances that such har- 
bourers and receivers murder their guests by night. 

Whether there be among you any ale-wives or regra- 
tresses who brew and sell contrary to the assize, and that 
by false measures. 

Whether there be among you any bakers or regraters 
who bake and sell bread contrary to the assize, and that by 
false weights. 

Whether there be among you any tailors who know how 
to make and do make leggings and caps and the like out of 
a cloak. 

Whether there be among you any goldsmiths who are 
wont by night to melt down cups or bells or other vessels 
of silver and to make thereout buckles, rings, goods for 
wearing, such as brooch-pins and ear-rings.'' 

* For an actual instance of a theft thus ppipctratcd see Select Pleas of 
'I'le Crown, i. p. 128. ^ TranbJation doubtful. 



95 MODUS TENENDI CURIAS. 

Item si soient entre vous nullz feverez qe sovent dun 
vomer ou de vunsoche emblez fere fere pur chivaus e 
chaines tonalles e trespees. 

Item si soient entre vous qe ont contrefait la moneye 
le Roye ou qe tondunt la dicte moneye. 

Item si soit entre vous nuls qest parjure la terre e soit 
revenuz qe lad herberge ou receyte depuis. 

Item si soit entre vous nulle pucelle vefue ou femme 
espousee ou ascun autre femme queconque soit ravie contre 
son grée. 

Item si soit nul homme entre vous qe soit vaquerant de 
nut hauntant comunement la taverne si ne soit riche rentier 
ou riche marchaunt. 

Item si soit nul entre vous qe saunz congé pesche de 
reiez de heche de petele ou dascun autre chose en riuer ou 
en estank ou en seroure. 

Item si soit nul entre vous qe saunz congé chace de 
chiens en warenne le seignur ou du Roy prent cerf ditee 
deym deyme cheveroil ou defurent prent conye levers ou 
gopil ou tessoun. 

Item si soit entre vous nul oisilour qe de reiez semblanz 
ou dautre engine saunz congé prent grues horoune owe 
reforayne ascie bekas girue alowe columbe houstour ou 
esparvir en parke ou aillours. 

Item si nul tresoure saunz ^ terre ou aillours soit deyns 
la franchise le seignur ou e qay ceo est. 

Item si nul weyf soit trove en ville ou en champs ou en 
boys soit il beste draps ou autre chose si le seignur de ceo 
servy come estre doit. 

Item si soit entre vous nul offucour qe en augst nutantre 
de meyns come par fosse ou charge de chival ou charette 
emble autre ble. 

Item si soit entre vous nul u surir présentez la maner. 

Item si soit entre vous nul bocher ou lieu qe receyve 

' Cori. sous. 



THE MANNER OF HOLDING COURTS. 95 

Whether there be among you any smiths who know how 
to make out of a stolon plough-share or coulter, horse-shoes 
and chains, tongs and trivets.* 

Whether there be among you any who counterfeit the 
King's money or who clip the said money. 

Whether there be among you any who have forejured 
the land and afterwards have returned ; who hath since 
harboured or received them. 

Whether there be among you any maid, widow or wife, 
or other woman who hath been ravished against her will. 

Whether there be among you any man who goeth about 
loafing by night, commonly haunting the tavern and who 
is no rich proprietor or rich merchant. 

Whether there be among you any who without licence 
fisheth with nets or heck or pottel or any other thing in 
river, pond or preserve. 

Whether there be among you any who without licence 
chaseth with dogs in the warren of the lord or of the King 
or taketh the deer called fallow, buck and doe ^ or roebuck, 
or with a ferret taketh rabbit, hare, fox or badger. 

Whether there be among you any fowler who with net, 
trap or other engine without licence taketh crane, heron, 
wild-goose,^ wood-cock, snipe, thrush, lark, pigeon, goshawk 
or sparrow-hawk in park or elsewhere. 

Whether any treasure be found underground or elsewhere 
within the franchise of the lord ; where and what it be. 

Whether any waif be found in the vill or in the fields 
or in the woods, be it beast, clothes or other thing ; hath 
the lord been put in possession of this as is right. 

Whether there be among you any pilferer "^ w^ho at 
harvest-time by night stealeth the corn of others in small 
quantities or by handfuls or horse-loads or cart-loads. 

Whether there be among you any usurer ; present the 
facts. 

Whether there be among you any butcher in the place 

• Translation doubtful. ' Translation doubtful ; reforayne 

" Translation doubtful ; the word may mean riverain. 

ditee has not been found ; perhaps it '' Translation doubtful. 

should be fhic. 



96 MODUS TENENDI CUEIAS. 

grassis bestes emblez e feare deliverance en marche ou en 
quirie. 

Item si soit nul tannour qe achate les quirs e pels a son 
scient de tiels bestes embles. 

Item si soit entre vous nul currour alaunt en estraunge 
pais qe y colour de son aler come marchant emble chivals 
par voie e a sa revenue en pais vende une jumente ou un 
poutre pur x. s. qe vaut xx. s. 

Item si soit nul entre vous qest usee ou estee a déférer 
chivals qe liez sount entre vent le fers. 

Item si nul rescous soit fait as baillifs le Koy ou a 
bayllif le seignur en destresses ou en tachementz faire. 

Item si nul homme fuist atache par suspectione de 
arone e soit deliverez hors par qy. 

Item si nulle entre vous ad achate par un buschelle e 
vendu par un altre come ascunz pistours ou bresours. 

Item si nul chaundeler soit qe vende par faulx peys. 

Item si soit entre vous nul draper ou auner qe use faulx 
ancouz en achate ou en vende. 

E des qe sont encontre le coroune enquerrez entre vous 
e si vous vuilliez aver un clerke vous avérez. 

E ^ tanqe come les doseyners sount hors pur enquerre 
sur les articles serrount appeliez les essones de plez. 

Eogerus de B. defendens versus A. de placito debiti 
per B. 

Kogerus de C. defendens versus Petrum Clericum de 
placito transgressionis per A. 

Johannes de A. defendens versus G. de placito deten- 
cionis catallorum per D. 

Ore deit le clerke de la court demandier de bedel sez 
aiachimentz e ses pleyntz en escript. 



' After E stands r\ a usual abbreviation for some part of the verb 
respondere. 



THE MANNER OF HOLDING COURTS. i)() 

who receives fat beasts stolen and makes delivery of them 
at market or at the tanyard. 

Whether there be any tanner who buyeth hides and 
skins which to his knowledge came from beasts thus stolen. 

Whether there be any vagabond who goeth to strange 
countries and by colour of his going as a merchant stealeth 
horses by the way and on his return into the country selleth 
a mare or a foal for 10 s. which is worth 20 s. 

Whether there be among you any who is used or 
accustomed to unshoe horses which he finds tied up and 
then sells the shoes/' 

Whether any rescue be made from the King's bailiffs or 
the lord's bailiff when distress or attachments have been 
made. 

Whether any man be attached for suspicion of larceny 
and whether he hath been delivered out by any ; and by 
whom. 

Whether there be any among you who hath bought by 
one measure and sold by another, as some bakers and 
brewers do. 

Whether there be any chandler who selleth by false 
weight. 

Whether there be among you any draper or clothier 
who useth false measures in buying or in selling. 

And of those matters which are against the crown, 
inquire among yourselves and if ye wish for a clerk ye 
shall have one. 

And then when the dozeners have gone forth to inquire 
of the articles, the essoins of pleas shall be called on. 

Roger of B. defendant against A. in a plea of debt by 
[X]. 

Roger of C. defendant against Peter Clerk in a plea of 
trespass by A. 

John of A. defendant against G. in a plea of detinue of 
chattels by D. 

Then shall the clerk demand of the beadle his attach- 
ments and his plaints in writing. 

* The text as it stands seems untranslatable. 



97 MODUS TENENDI CURIAS. 

Petrus S. querens optulifc se versus G. in placitum 
detencionis catall[orum] et terr[e] debitpj et habuit hunc 
diem. 

Simon de B. queritur de Waltero Coco de eo quod tali 
die tali anno dictus Walterus vi et armis contra pacem 
Eegis et domini istius curie in tali loco tali vico ex opposito 
B. domus Willelmum ^ de A. dictum Simonem insultavit 
verberavit vulneravit cum una ata in dextro humero ad 
dampnum istius Simonis c. s. si dictus Walterus dedicere 
velit dictus Simon habet sectam bonam A. B. et C. etc. 

Predictus Walterus inde arenatus défendit vim et in- 
juriam et verba curie et dicit quod tali die nee tali loco nee 
talibus armis dictum Simonem vulneravit nee ulla enormia 
eidem fecit sicut versus eum narravit et hoc petit quod 
inquiratur. Et dictus Simon similiter. 

Inquisicio vj. bonorum et legalium inde oneratorum et 
juratorum per sacramentum suum dicunt quod dictus 
Walterus predicto die fuit in guerra cum domino Hugone 
Spenser et quod in dicta querela non est culpabilis. Ideo 
consideratum est quod dictus Simon pro falso suo clamore 
in misericordia ij. sol. plegii A. S. B. 

Ore doit le seneschal fere elire^xij. fraunkes tenauntz e 
sils ne soient tantz par vetz vj. fraunkes e vj. bondes qe 
puissent oier le présentement de presentour sil facent nul 
conseylement qils puissent presenter après qe les douszeiners 
avèrent présente. 

Presentatores dicunt quod Abbas de B. debet sectam ad 
istum diem set non est hie. Ideo in misericordia. 

Item dicunt quod Rogerus de A. est etatis xij. annorum 
et non est in decena et quod pater suus eum recitavit et 
hospitavit. Ideo in misericordia. Et dictus Rogerus 
défendit ne comor' infra libertatem domini quousque etc. 

' Sic. 2 fere é lire MS. 



THE MA^'NEK OK HOEDLNG COl'RTS. 97 

Peter S. plaintiff offered himself against G. in a plea of 
detinue of chattels — or, as the case may be — a plea of land 
or of debt, and he had this day. 

Simon of B. complaineth of Walter Cook for that on 
such a day the said Walter by force and arms against the 
peace of the king and of the lord of this court, in such a 
place, in such a street, opposite the house of William of A. 
assaulted the said Simon and beat and wounded him with 
an axe on his right shoulder to his damage 100 s. If the 
said Walter will deny, the said Simon hath good suit A. B. 
and C. etc. 

The said Walter arraigned of this defendeth tort and 
force and the words of court and saith that on such a day 
at such a place with such arms he did not wound the said 
Simon nor any ' other enormous things ' to him did as he 
hath counted against him, and he prayeth that this may 
b'e inquired. And the said Simon doth the like. 

An inquest of six good and lawful men thereof charged 
and sworn say upon their oath that the said Walter on the 
said day was in the wars with Hugh Spenser and is not 
guilty of the said charge. Therefore it is considered that 
the said Simon be in mercy (2 s.) for his false complaint ; 
pledges A. S. B. 

Then shall the steward cause to be chosen twelve free 
tenants, and if perchance there be not so many then six 
free and six bond, who may hear the presentment of the 
presenter and see that he maketh no concealment, which 
if he do these twelve may present it when the dozeners have 
finished. 

The presenters say that the Abbot of B. oweth suit to 
this day's session and is not here. Therefore be he in 
mercy. 

Also they say that Roger of A. is of the age of twelve 
years and is not in tithing and that his father hath received 
and harboured him. Therefore be he in mercy. And it is 
forbidden ^ the said Roger that he remain within the lord's 
liberty until etc. 

* Tlie text is unsathfaetorv. 



98 MODUS TENENDI CURIAS. 

Item dicunt quod Kobertus de C. injuste levavit hute- 
sium super B. de T. Ideo dictus K. in misericordia. 
Plegii A. et B. 

Item quod Paulus de C. est causa sanguinis effusi de 
Willelmo Parkyn. Ideo dictus Paulus in misericordia. 
Plegii A. et B. 

Item dicunt quod Warinus de C. est causa purpresture 
facte eo quod posuit fimarium suum in vico Regis ad nocu- 
mentum patrie. Ideo preceptum est quod statim amove- 
atur et ulterius dictus Warinus in misericordia. Plegii A. 
etB. 

Item dicunt quod G. de B. levavit unum murum super 
solum F. visini sui ad nocumentum predicti F. Ideo pre- 
ceptum est quod prosternatur ulterius etc. 

Item dicunt quod Adam de T. obstupavit cur sum aque 
apud Hamlonde et semitam que ducit versus ecclesiam ad 
molendinum de quibus non currit memoria. Ideo preceptum 
est quod aqua reducatur in cursu suo ut prius et sémite de 
cetero utantur. 

Item dicunt quod Jacobus Daye aravit cum caruca sua 
aproprians sibi très sulcos de alta strata Regis que ducit 
versus Razmebury tali loco in prejudicium Regis et ad nocu- 
mentum patrie. Ideo in misericordia et ulterius preceptum 
est quod statim reducatur. 

Item dicunt quod Matilda Suty consueta est decipere 
gallinas visinorum suorum. Ideo abjuret villam, et pre- 
ceptum est quod nullus receptet illam nee hospitet sub 
pena ij. d. 

Item dicunt quod Radulfus de B. et Rogerus de C. sunt 
communes depredatores tali loco. Ideo preceptum est quod 
attachientur per corpora sua et ulterius quod bona et 
catalla capiantur in manus domini. 

Item dicunt quod Rogerus Piper tali die furtive cum 
hamo per fenestram talis abstraxit duo tapeta et alia 
necessaria. Ideo ut prius. 



THE MANNER OF HOLDINCr COURTS. 98 

Also they say that Eobert of C. wrongfully levied the 
hue upon B. of T. Therefore be the said K[obert] in 
mercy. Pledges, A. and B. 

Also that Paul of C. is the cause of blood shed by 
William Parkin. Therefore be the said Paul in mercy. 
Pledges, A. and B. 

Also they say that Warin of C. hath caused a purpresture 
by placing his dungheap on the King's highway to the 
nuisance of the country. Therefore command is given 
that it be at once removed, and further that the said Warin 
be in mercy ; pledges, A. and B. 

Also they say that G. of B. raised a wall upon the soil 
of F. his neighbour to the nuisance of the said F. There- 
fore command is given that it be abated, and further [that 
G. be in mercy]. 

Also they say that Adam of T. hath stopped a water- 
course at Hamland and the path which leadeth to the 
church or the mill, both of which are from beyond memory. 
Therefore command is given that the water be brought back 
into its old course and that for the future the paths be used. 

Also they say that James Day hath ploughed with his 
plough and appropriated to himself three furrows from the 
King's highway which leadeth to Raunbury, in such a place, 
to the prejudice of the King and the nuisance of the country. 
Therefore be he in mercy, and command is given that this 
be put to rights forthwith. 

Also they say that Matilda Suty is wont to filch her 
neighbours' poultry. Therefore let her abjure the vill, and 
command is given that none do harbour her on pain of 2 d. 

Also they say that Ealph of B. and Roger of C. are 
common depredators in such a place. Therefore command 
is given that they be attached by their bodies, and further 
that their goods and chattels be taken into the hands of the 
lord. 

Also they say that Roger Piper on such a day thievishly 
with a hook snatched two hangings and other articles from 
the window of such an one. Therefore [as in the last 
case]. 

VOL, IV. N 



99 MODl^S TENENDI CTTRIAS. 

Item dicunt quod Johannes de C. est communis hospi- 
tator et quod hospitavit contra assisam. Ideo in miseri- 
cordia. 

Item dicunt quod in domo ipsius Johannis inventa fuit 
una cista sub terra in qua fuerunt xij. ciphi de argento 
xij. cocliaria de argento et alia necessaria et unus pannus 
integer de scarleto continens xxxij. ulnas et quod dum 
scrutamini ^ alio loco interim evasit. Ideo preceptum est 
quod attachietur ut prius. 

Item dicunt quod Eogerus de B. habet unam commis- 
sionem lactam nomine Eeg' sigill' de uno sigillo proprio ad 
similitudinem sigill' Eeg' ad liberandam gaolam Nortone 
set non est sigill' Eeg' ideo attachietur et salvo mittatur 
Eegi vel Justiciariis de Banco Eegis. 

Item dicunt quod Eogerus de T. habet denarios ob. qua. 
novos de moneta Eegis set metallum unde fit est mixtum 
cum stagno. Ideo attachietur per corpus et instrumenta 
sua et salvo ducatur Eegi. 

Item dicunt quod Eobertus de B. habet multam 
pecuniam tonsam set per quem nescitur. Ideo attachietur 
per omnia bona sua quousque melius inquiratur. 

Item dicunt quod Johannes Fox viij. annis elapsis inter- 
fecit talem et fugit ad ecclesiam et pro eo abjuravit terram 
et reventus est sine licencia Eegis et talis eum receptavit 
contra pacem. Ideo preceptum est quod ambo attachientur 
per corpora sua et quod interim omnia tenementa et catalla 
dicti Johannis capiantur in manus domini et quod dictus 
decollocetur et Simon ad gaolam Eegis salvo ducatur per 
decenarios. 

Item dicunt quod A. et B. invenerunt iiij. homines 
fugantes xxx. grossos boves extra altam stratam sub parco 
in aurora diei ante ortum solis et predicti interrogaverunt 
unum vadium quia boves formaverunt et fugantes boves 
rescussum fecerunt et fugerunt et predicti boves fugati 
fuerunt in parcum et adhuc nulla calumpnia pro dictis 

' Apparently scrutaminns. 



THE M.AXXKR OF HOLDING (K)URT.S. i)<) 

Also they say that John of C. is a common harbourer 
and hath harboured against the assize. Therefore be he 
in mercy. 

Also they say that in the house of the said John was 
found a chest under the ground, wherein were twelve cups 
of silver and twelve spoons of silver and other articles and 
one whole cloth cf scarlet containing 32 ells, and that 
while they were making further search he ran away. There- 
fore it is commanded that [as before]. 

Also they say that Eoger of B. hath a commission made 
in the King's name sealed with a seal of his own made like 
the King's seal for the delivery of the gaol of Norton ; but 
the seal is not the King's. Therefore be he attached and 
safely sent to the King or to the justices of the King's 
Bench. 

Also they say that Eoger of T. hath new pence, halfpence, 
and farthings of the King's money, but the metal of which 
they are made is mixed with tin. Therefore be he attached 
by his body with his instruments [for coining] and safely 
brought before the King. 

Also they say that Eobert of B. hath much dipt money ; 
but by whom [it was dipt] is not known. Therefore be he 
attached by all his goods until better inquiry be made. 

Also they say that eight years ago John Fox killed such 
an one and fled to church and abjured the realm for that 
deed and hath returned without the King's licence, and such 
an one hath received him against the peace. Therefore 
command is given that both be attached by their bodies 
and that in the meantime all the tenements and chattels of 
the said John be seized into the lord's hands and that the 
said John be beheaded and that Simon be safely taken to 
the King's gaol by the tithingmen. 

Also they say that A. and B. found four men driving 
thirty fat oxen from off the King's highway alongside the 
pound in early morn before sunrise and asked for a gage 
since they were removing the oxen, but the drivers made 
rescue and escaped and the said oxen were driven into the 
pound and hitherto no claim hath been put in for the oxen. 

N 2 



100 MODUS TENENDI CUEIAS. 

bobus venit. Ideo consideratur quod si dicti boves non 
calumpniantur infra unum annum et unum diem quod 
dominus eos habeat pro vago. 

Item dicunt quod Eicardus de B. qui tenuit de domino 
j. mesuagium et unam virgatam terre cum pertinenciis sus- 
pensus fuit pro felonia. Et consideratum est quod dominus 
habeat dictum mesuagium et dictam virgatam terre quasi 
escaeta. 

Item dicunt quod Benedictus Cementarius consuetus 
est in autumpno cum caretta colligere aliéna blada et 
alienum fenum et adducere usque ad domum suam. Et 
ideo preceptum est quod manuopera attachientur et custo- 
diantur quousque melius inquiratur. 

Statim predictus Benedictus queritur de omnibus 
presentatoribus quod maliciose et false ipsum indicaverunt. 
Plegii de prosequendo A. et B. et habent diem ad proximam 
et plegii ad respondendum alter alterius eorum. 

Item dicunt quod Johannes de T. attachiatus fuit per 
suspectionem et quod A. et B. qui eum custodier unt 
ceperunt de eo xl. s. et evasit noctanter. Ideo preceptum 
est quod predicti attachientur per corpora sua etc. 

Tastatores servie' présentant quod Agneta vidua brasiat 
et vendit contra assisam. Ideo preceptum est quod scandât 
tumberellum cum colo et fuso. 

Item présentant quod eadem Agneta utitur falsis lagenis 
potellis et quarteriis. Ideo in misericordia et ulterius 
comburantur. 

Item présentant quod Petronilla de S. brasiavit iiij. 
quarteria avene et vendidit contra assisam et antequam 
servie' fuerat tastatum. Ideo etc. 

Ore doit le seneschal feare lever un douszeyne de fraunk 
tenauntz qe ount oy ceaux presentementz e serrent chargeez 
de touz les articles e si les presentours ount feat nul 
consaylement ils le devent presentier oiaunz les auters 
presentours. 

Inquisicio xij. liberorum onerata super presentacionem 
francipleg[iorum] dicit quod Gerardus de Insula debet 




THE MANNER OF HOLDING COURTS. 100 

Therefore it is considered that if they be not claimed 
within year and day the lord do have them by way of waif. 

Also they say that Eichard of B. who held a messuage 
and a virgate of land with the appurtenances of the lord 
was hanged for felony. And it is considered that the lord 
do have the said messuage and virgate by way of escheat. 

Also they say that Benedict Mason is wont at harvest 
time to collect with his cart the corn and hay of other folk 
and take it to his house. Therefore it is ordered that 
his wainage be attached and kept until better inquiry be 
made. 

Thereupon the said Benedict complaineth of all the 
presenters that falsely and maliciously have they indicted 
him. Pledges to prosecute, A. and B. A day is given them 
at the next court and each of the presenters is pledge that 
each of the others will answer. 

Also they say that John of T. was attached for sus- 
picion and that A. and B. who had him in charge took 40 s. 
from him and he escaped by night. Therefore command 
is given that the said [A. and B.] be attached by their 
bodies. 

The ale-tasters present that Agneta the widow brewed 
and sold contrary to the assize. Therefore command is 
given that she do ascend the tumbrel with distaff and 
spindle. 

Also they present that the said Agneta useth false 
gallons, pottels and quarts. Therefore be she in mercy, 
and further be they burnt. 

Also they present that Peronel of S. brewed four 
quarters of oats and sold against the assize and before the 
beer was tasted. Therefore etc. 

Then shall the steward cause to be constituted a dozen 
of free tenants who have heard the presentments, and they 
shall be charged with all the articles, and if the presenters 
have made any concealment they must present it in the 
hearing of the said presenters. 

The inquest of twelve free [tenants] charged upon the 
presentment of the frankpledges saith that Gerard of the 



101 



MODUS TENENDI CURIAS. 



sectam curie et non venit. Ideo in misericordia, et sic de 
aliis. 

Ore serrunt mys en douseyne ceux qe sont présentez 
devaunt e doit le clerk charger lenfeat ^ en tiele manere e 
dirra Mettez la mayn sur la lyver. Vous serrez leal 
homme e lealte porterez a nostre seignur le Koy e a sez 
heires e a vostre seignur de ceste manere e a ses heires e 
serrez justizable a vostre chief douseynour e ceo si vous 
eyde Dieux e ses seintes. E donsqe bay sera le liver e 
doner a un den. a clerk pur son fee e serra son noun entre 
en la roule de douseyners e issint des auters. 

Ore serrunt esluz iiij. taxours e serrount deux fraunkes 
e deux bondes e serrount jurez qils deverent lealment taxer 
chescun homme solonc le trespas save a gentiel homme sa 
countennance de son hostiel ten' a marchaunt sa marchan- 
dise a terre tenaunt sa carue e sa charette. 

Eobertus 
Eogerus 
Willelmus 
Eadulfus 



Taxatores ■" 



Summa. 



Curia tenta apud Myddeltone die Lune proxima post 
festum Sancti Nicholai anno regni regis Edwardi tercii post 
conquestum xvj"^°. 

Asson' Willelmus Clericus — de communi — per A. 
Kogerus Stoute — de eodem — per B. 
Robertus Fox — de eodem — per C. 

Johannes Faber deffendens versus Ricardum Potster 
de placito transgressionis et terre debiti covencionis 
et detencionis catallorum per Johannem Bartlot. 

Johannes Sutor querens et Eicardus Lovell defendens in. 
placito terre per le con ^ sunt ita quod Eicardus ponit se 



Sic. 



- Corr. per liccnciam concordaii [?] 



THE MANNER OF HOLDING COUKTS. 101 

Isle oweth suit of court and hath not come. Therefore be 
he in mercy. And so with other matters. 

Then shall be put in dozen those who have been pre- 
sented [as being out of dozen] and the clerk shall charge 
the boy in manner followmg, saying, ' Put thy hand upon 
the book. Thou shait be lawful man and bear loyalty to 
our lord the King and his heirs and to thy lord of this 
manor and to his heirs, and shalt be justiciable by thy 
chief dozener ; so help thee God and His saints.' And 
then he shall kiss the book and give a penny to the clerk 
for his fee, and his name shall be entered on the roll of 
dozeners ; and so with the rest. 

Then shall be chosen four taxers, two of whom shall be 
free and two bond, and they shall be sworn that they will 
lawfully tax every man according to his trespass, saving to 
a gentleman the contenement of his house, to a merchant 
his merchandise, to a land -tenant his plough and cart. 

/ Robert \ 



Taxers i 



I^02fer 

^y.,,. ^ Total [of the amercements]. 

Ralph J 



Court holden at Middleton on Monday next after the 
feast of S. Nicholas in the sixteenth year of King 
Edward III. [1342]. 

Essoins. William Clerk — of the common [suit] — by A. 
Roger Stoute — of the same — by B. 
Robert Fox — of the same — by C. 

John Smith defendant against Richard Potster in a 
plea of trespass — or of land — or of debt, covenant 
or detinue of chattels — by John Bartlot. 

John Cobbler plaintiff and Richard Lovell defendant in 
a plea of land have made concord by leave of the court to 
the effect that Richard puts himself [in mercy] with A. and 



102 MODUS TENENDI CURIAS. 

per plegium A. B. et est concordia talis quod dictus Ricardus 
relaxabit et quietum clamabit predicto Johanni et heredibus 
totum jus et clameum quod umquam in ilia terra que ^ 
habuit in Uptone. 

Ricardus de C. querens optulit se versus Hugonem de T. 
in placito detencionis qui supra essoniatus ^ et habuit diem 
ad proximam sine assonio. 

Ore doit le seneschal enquerer par les francipleges 
cornent le fraunchise le seignur est garde. 

Si le baylif ou provost messer ou nul de sergeantz se 
portent mal en lour office e chescun coment e en quy. 

Si soit nul voidaunce de tenementz de frankes ou de 
bondes e quele chose le seignur avéra par lour mort come de 
heriot e de sa ^ autre chose. 

Si nul bonde ne soit de pour de tener le tenement qil 
tient ditez nous lencheson. 

Si nul bonde taverne sa terre ou partie a fraunk homme 
ou a autre sanz congee. 

Si nul bonde soit aloyne hors de la seignurie ove sez 
biens e sa suyte verz queu pays. 

Si nul file de bonde soit cochée noun marie e soit conu 
en chapitre e qoy ele dona pur sa correctione e dean. 

Si homme ou femme qest bonde soit tarie en chapitre 
dautre chose forsque de matrimoyne e testament. 

Si nul file de bonde soit marie sanz congee ou a qi e 
queux biens son piere dona ove ly en darreez. 

Si nul bonde soit ordeyne clerk saunz congé. 

Si nul bonde eyt abatu keyne ou freisne en son gardeyne 
si ne soit pur mesoner ou pur charue ou charette quantz e 
le pris. 

' Sic. 2 (3550,^' ^^^ 3 gJQ^ 



THE MANNER OF HOLDING COURTS. 102 

B. as pledges and that Richard shall release and quitclaim 
to the said John and his heirs all the right and claim that 
he ever had in the land that he held at Upton. 

Richard of C. plaintiff offered himself against Hugh of 
T. in a plea of detinue. Hugh is essoined as above and has 
day at the next court when there is to be no essoin. 

Then shall the steward make inquest by the frankpledges 
as to how the lord's franchise is maintained. 

Whether the bailiff, reeve, hayward or any other of the 
servants behaveth himself ill in his office, and in each case 
how and in what. 

Whether there be any voidance in the tenements of free 
or bond and what the lord shall have by their death by way 
of heriot or otherwise. 

Whether any bond [man] be insufficient to hold the 
tenement that he holdeth ; and tell us the reason. 

Whether any bond [man] demiseth ^ his land or part of 
it to any free man or other man without licence. 

Whether any bond man hath betaken himself outside 
the franchise with his goods and his following ; and 
whither. 

Whether any bond man's unmarried daughter hath 
committed fornication and been convened in chapter, and 
what hath she given to the dean for her correction.^ 

Whether any bond man or woman hath been charged 
in the chapter touching any thing other than marriage or 
testament. 

Whether any bond man's daughter hath been married 
without licence, and to whom, and what her father hath 
given with her in the way of goods. 

Whether any bond man hath been ordained clerk with- 
out leave. 

Whether any bond man hath cut down oak or ash in 
his garden, unless it be to repair house, plough, or cart ; 
and how much he hath taken. 

* Guess-work. goods which in strict law are his 

^ See our Manorial Pleas, i. p. 98. lord's. The dean here mentioned 

U a villan gets into trouble in the will be the rural dean. 

ecclesiastical courts he jeopardises 



103 MODUS TENENDI CURIAS. 

Et puis de touz altres choses queux sont a presentier 
pur le seignur. 

Ore devent presentier. Francipleggii dicunt quod 
Robertus Prepositus semper utitur foris et tabernis et quod 
necligens est in omnibus operibus suis. Ideo removeatur. 
Et statim electus est loco suo P. de M. qui debet sic onerari. 
Vous serreez leal a vostre seignur e lealment freez quant a 
un provost apent e lealment vous devez charger de toutz les 
resceytes e lealment vous descharger par lealx dispenses a 
vostre poar e a vostre scient si vous ayde Dieux e ses 
seintz. E donsque le dit Robert serra arestu e touz ses 
biens pris en la mayn le seignur jesques il eit trove bone 
suyrte a respondre a seignur par leal aconpte de tout son 
temps, e sil ne puisse trover nulls meynpernours soit il mis 
en cieps sur j. puner en la garde de ses veisines desque il 
eit grace de son seignur e outre ceo soient venduz ses biens 
e la terre qil tient assise a un autre bonde. 

Item dicunt quod Robertus Parker non custodit parcum 
domini quia dat et vendit feras et boscum vendit voluntate sua 
Rectori de A. unum cervum. Ideo preceptum est quod 
attachietur per omnia bona sua et salvo custodiatur 
quousque dominus ordinaverit etc. 

Item dicunt quod Willelmus Messor in autumpno 
conscenciens est malefactoribus de blado domini. Ideo in 
misericordia ; plegii J. et A. et ulterius removeatur. 

Item dicunt quod Walterus Carter male custodit equos 
domini quia furatur prebend[am] eq[uorum] ad valenciam 
unius busselli. Ideo etc. 

Item dicunt quod Rogerus Seminator decipit terram 

domini seminando pro eo quod parum et parum furatur 

semen unde attentus ^ fuit de j. bus. frumenti precii iij. s. 

Ideo in misericordia ; plegii A. et B. et ulterius removeatur. 

Item dicunt quod Johannes Frankeleyne qui tenuit 



Sic. 



THE MANNER OF HOLDING COURTS. 103 

And afterwards of all other matters which are to be 
presented for the lord. 

Then they shall make presentment. The frankpledges 
say that Eobert the reeve is always haunting fairs and 
taverns and that he is negligent in all his duties. Therefore 
be he removed. And P. of M. is at once elected in his 
stead, and is to be charged thus : — ' Thou shalt be loyal to 
thy lord and shalt loyally do all that to a reeve belongeth 
and loyally shalt thou charge thyself with all receipts and 
loyally discharge thyself with all lawful expenses to the 
best of thy power and knowledge. So help thee God and 
His saints.' And then the said Eobert shall be arrested 
and all his goods taken into the hand of the lord until he 
hath found good surety to answer to his lord by lawful 
account for all his time, and if he can find no mainprise he 
shall be put in the stocks upon a pining-stool in the custody 
of his neighbours until he hath the grace of his lord, and 
besides this his goods shall be sold and the land that he 
holdeth shall be let out to another bond [man]. 

Also they say that Robert the parker doth not duly 
keep the park of the lord, for he giveth and selleth at his 
will beasts and wood, [thus, for example,] a hart to the 
rector of A. Therefore command is given that he be 
attached by all his goods and kept safely until the lord 
shall [otherwise] ordain. 

Also they say that in harvest time William the hayward 
hath been consenting with malefactors touching the lord's 
corn. Therefore be he in mercy ; pledges, J. and A. ; and 
further, be he removed. 

Also they say that Walter the carter doth ill keep the 
lord's horses, for he stealeth the provender of the horses to 
the amount of one bushel. Therefore etc. 

Also they say that Roger the sower defrauds the lord's 
land when sowing, for that by little and little he stealeth 
the seed, whereby he hath possessed himself of one bushel 
of corn, price 3s. Therefore be he in mercy ; pledges, A. 
and B. ; and further, be he removed. 

Also they say that John the Franklain who held freely 



104 MODUS TENENDI CUKIAS. 

unam virgatam terre libère de domino per servicium v. s. per 
annum mortuus est et quod dominus habebit nomine herioti 
unum equiferum cum freno sella et gladio. Item dominus 
habebit custodiam Johannis filii et heredis ipsius Johannis 
cum tota terra sua quousque fuerit plene etatis et tunc 
dabit relevium et faciet feoditatem in hec verba Ceo oiez 
vous mon seignur que jeo Johan filz e heire P. F. vous 
serray foial e leal e foy vous portera de frank tenement que 
jeo cleyme tener devons e lealment vous fray les customes e 
services que feare vous dei a les termes assignez si me eyde 
Dieux e sez seintz. 

Item dicunt quod J. de B. qui tenet unum mesuagium 
et unam virgatam terre in bondagio non est potens tenendi 
nec sustinendi terram suam. Ideo capiat ur in misericordia ^ 
domini. 

Item dicunt quod Alicia de C. que tenet ut supra dimisit 
et tradidit Johanni Clerico medietatem terre sue ad 
arandum et seminandum pro media vestura sine licencia 
domini. Ideo capiatur in manus domini. 

Item dicunt quod M. de T. est causa letherwyt. Ideo 
in misericordia ; plegii A. et B. 

Kogerus W. pro ingressu habendo in illo mesuagio et 
illa virgata terre quam pater suus tenuit dat iij. lib. 
Plegii A. et B. Et faciet servicia que pater suus fecit. 
Coment il ferra fealtee. Ceo oiez mon seignur que jeo 
Eoger vous serra féal e leal e foy vous portera de tenement 
que jeo teigne de vous en villinage e vous serray justizable 
de corps e de chateux si me eyde Dieux e sez seintz. 

Alicia de B. invenit plegios A. et B. quod de cetero 
manutenebit tenementum et terram sicut alii vicini. Ideo 
considerandum est quod rehabeat terram snam. 

Willelmus de B. pro eo quod non debet esse prepositus 
domini apud C. dat xx. s. 

' Corr. i7i manujn. 



THE MANNER OF HOLDING COURTS. 104 

a virgate of land of the lord by the service of 5 s. a year is 
dead, and that the lord shall have by way of heriot a cart- 
horse with bridle, saddle and sword. Also the lord shall 
have the wardship of John son and heir of the said John 
with all his land until he be of full age, and then he shall 
give a relief and do fealty in these words : — ' Hear this thou 
my lord ! I John son and heir of [John] F. will be faithful 
and loyal to thee, and will bear faith to thee of the free 
tenement that I claim to hold of thee, and loyally will do 
to thee the customs and services that do I ought at the 
terms assigned therefor. So help me God and His saints.' 

Also they say that J. of B. who holdeth a messuage and 
a virgate of land in bondage is not sufficient to hold or 
maintain his land. Therefore be it seized into the lord's 
hand. 

Also they say that Alice of C. who holds as above [i.e. 
in bondage] hath without the lord's licence demised and 
delivered half her land to John Clerk to plough and sow on 
the terms of receiving half the crop. Therefore be it seized 
into the lord's hand. 

Also they say that M. of T. hath given rise to a 
legerwite.^ Therefore be she in mercy ; pledges, A. and B. 

Koger W. giveth £3 for having entry into the messuage 
and virgate of land which his father held. Pledges, A. and 
B. And let him do the services which his father did. He 
shall do fealty thus : — ' Hear this my lord ! I Koger will 
be faithful and loyal to thee, and faith to thee will bear of 
the tenement that I hold of thee in villanage, and will be 
justiciable by thee in body and chattels. So help me God 
and His saints.' 

Alice of B. found pledges A. and B. that for the future 
she will maintain her tenement and land like her neighbours. 
Therefore it is considered that she do rehave her land. 

William of B. giveth the lord 20 s. that he may not be 
the lord's reeve at C. 

» The old fine for fornication. 



105 MODUS ÏENENDI CURIAS. 

Willelmus de G. queritur de J. B. de placito trans» 
[gressionis] terr[e]. Plegii ad prosequendum A. et B. 

Ore doit le seneschal de la court comander que Eichard 
que fuist provost veigne a la barre e que le bedel crie si nul 
homme voille luy pleyner sur luy de trespas ou de dette 
que ceo facent tantost come il est present. 

Magister Kobertus de C. rector ecclesie de N. queritur 
de Eicardo qui fuit ultimus prepositus quod de toto tempore 
quo stetit prepositus in despectu Dei et Beate E. et ad 
grave dampnum istius rectoris male decimavit omnia bona 
domini que decimanda fuerunt ad dampnum dicti Eectoris 
XX. s. 

Dictus Eicardus inde arenatus fuit et dicit quod de 
omnibus istis sibi oppositis nichil scit set si aliquid scit * 
ignoratus fuit per subcustodes suos quibus in suo officio ^ 
et hoc petit quod inquiratur. Et dictus rector similiter. 

Sex liberi et sex nativi inde onerati et jurati dicunt 
per sacramentum suum quod dictus Eicardus de omnibus 
istis querelis et de placitis aliis non nominatis est culpabilis. 
Ideo preceptum est quod dictus Eicardus ^ petat graciam de 
domino et ulterius quod dictus Eicardus maneat in custodia 
franciplegii quousque redderit "^ compotum. 

Alicia Vidua queritur de Eicardo nuper preposito de eo 
quod cotidie imparcavit vaccam suam supponens et dicens 
quod aliquando fuit in blado domini aliquando in pratis 
vel in gardino domini quousque ei dederit dim. marcam 
pro qua vendidit ij. quarteria frumenti quod tunc valerent 
viij. s. et alia enormia sibi fecit ad dampnum ipsius Alicie 
viij. s. et alia enormia sibi fecit ad dampnum ipsius Alicie 

XX. s. 

' Sic. 2 gic, 3 jiic^ MS, corr. Rec' [?] * Sic. 



THE MANNEK OF IIOLDIXO COURTS. lOf) 

William of G. complaineth of J. B. in a plea of trespass 
■ — or, as the case may be, of land. Pledges to prosecute, 
A. and B. 

Then shall the steward of the court command that 
Bichard the late reeve do come to the bar, and that the 
beadle do proclaim that if anyone will complain against 
him for trespass or debt he shall do so at once since he is 
here present. 

Master Bobert of C. rector of the church of N. com- 
plaineth of Bichard the last reeve that during his whole 
reeveship in contempt of God and Holy Church and to the 
heavy damage of the said rector hath he ill tithed all the 
goods of the lord which were tithable, to the damage of 
the said rector of 20 s. 

The said Bichard was arraigned of this and saith that 
he knoweth nothing of all these things that are charged 
against him, but that if there be any truth therein he was 
misled by his underlings to whom he trusted ; and he prayeth 
that this be inquired. And the said rector doth the like. 

Six free men and six born bondmen charged and sworn 
thereof say upon their oath that Bichard is guilty of all 
these matters and of others which are not specified. 
Therefore command is given that the said [rector^] do seek 
the lord's favour, and further that the said Bichard do 
remain in the custody of the frankpledge until he shall 
have rendered an account. 

Alice the widow complaineth of Bichard late reeve, for 
that day by day he hath impounded her cow supposing and 
saying now that it was in the lord's corn, now that it was 
in the lord's pasture or his garden, until she gave him a 
half-mark for which she sold two quarters of wheat, which 
were then w^orth 8 s., and ' other enormous things ' he to 
her did to her damage 8 s., and ' other enormous things ' to 
her damage 20 s. 

* It must be the rector and not, as lord. Anyone, therefore, who has 

the MS. has it, Richard who is to aught against Richard can get nothing 

seek the lord's favour. Richard is out of him, but must crave a boon 

a bondman, and having offended, all of the lord. See the last paragraph 

his chattels have been seized bv his of this tract. 



106 



MODUS TENENDI CURIAS. 



Dictus Eicardus inde arenatus dicit quod nunquam 
vaccam dicte Alicie imparcavit exonerando illud ut acciperet 
donum suum et hoc petit quod inquiratur. Et predicta 
Alicia similiter. 

Inquisicio super hoc dicit quod predictus Eicardus de 
ista querela est culpabilis. Ideo in misericordia et ulterius 
consider atur quod predicta Alicia recuperet predictam dim. 
marcam cum dampnis. 

Johannes de T. petit ^ Eicardo Preposito xx. s. quos 
sibi debet pro quatuor quarteriis frumenti que sibi vendidit ad 
semen domini et x. s. pro pist' ^ ab eo empt'. Eicardus 
cognovit debitum etc. Considerandum est quod omnes isti 
querentes petant graciam de domino. 



Taxatores 



Eicardus 
. Philippus 



Summa ^ 



' Sic. "^ Corr. pisis. ^ The next matter in the MS. consists 

of forms of homage and fealty, and of this some part occurs before the names 
of the ' taxatores.' 



THE MANNER OF HOLDING COURTS. 106 

The said Eichard being arraigned saith that never did 
he impound the cow of the said AHce taking from her a 
gift in order that she might be discharged [of the cow's 
trespass] ; and he prays that this be inquired. And the 
said AHce doth the hke. 

The inquest touching this saith that the said Eichard 
is guilty of the matter complained of. Therefore be he in 
mercy, and further it is considered that the said Alice do 
recover the said half-mark with the damages. 

John of T. demands of Eichard [the late] reeve 20 s. 
which he oweth him for four qua,rters of wheat which he 
sold him for the lord's seed, and 10 s. for pease bought of 
him. Eichard confessed the debt etc. It is considered that 
all these plaintiffs do crave the lord's favour. 

Taxer s ' pi.-]]- [ Total [of the amercements]. 



VOL. IV. 



107 



V. THE BISHOP OF ELY'S COUET AT LITTLEPOKT. 

INTRODUCTION. 

The rolls from which the following extracts are taken are not 
among the most ancient, but they were placed at the editor's 
service by the kindness of Mr. 0. G. Pell, and since they are of 
great and varied interest, it seemed advisable that they should be 
used at once.^ 

Littleport lies about five miles north of Ely on the banks of 
the Ouse : * it is a great parish of 17,000 acres, 16,000 of which 
are pure fen land.' ^ In the thirteenth century the village with 
its common fields was surrounded on almost every side by un- 
limited and undrained fen. Its people must have been an 
amphibious race, largely employed in catching eels for the bishop ; 
when they were ' attached by their chattels ' to answer in court, 
boats, oars, nets, and bundles of ' lesch ' were taken ; indeed 
' lesch ' seems to have fulfilled some of the uses of money amongst 
them ; they are habitually owing and being owed so many hundreds 
or thousands of ' lesch.' ' It would appear,' says Mr. Marshall,^ 
* by the allusions in these rolls that the vegetable produce of the 
fens consisted almost exclusively of sedge (lesch) which was prob- 
ably a name used generically and covered all the species of 
Carices abounding in the fens, as well as the special sedge of 
Burwell Fen [Cladium Mariscus) to which the University of 
Cambridge was formerly so much indebted as a means of lighting 
. . . fires. . . . The word " lesch " has now become obsolete in 
the fens ; but the French name for the plants of the genus Carex 
is ''laiche.'" 

In the Inquisitio Eliensis Littleport is described as being 
rated at 2| hides ; there is land for six plough-teams : in demesne 
are 1 hide and 2 teams ; there are 4 teams of the homines ; there 
are 13 villani with 9 acres each ; 2 villani of 12 acres each ; 8 

' Some account of these rolls has been given by Mr. W. Marshall in 
Cambridge Antiquarian Communications, iv. 97. 
^ Op. cit. 99. => Op. cit. lOG. 



THE BISHOP OF ELY'S COURT AT LITTLEPORT. 



108 



cotarii of 1 acre each ; 8 servi ; 17,000 eels are obtained from the 
fisheries and 12s. 9d. in respect of dues of fish ; in all it is worth 
8/.' The description given in Domesday Book is substantially 
similar, but briefer ; there are 15 villani, 8 cotarii, 8 servi. ^ 

From the thirteenth century we have two manorial extents, 
the earlier from the year 1221, the latter from the year 1277-8.^ 
In the former year there is a single censuarius with 18 acres ; ^ 
5 holdings of ' plenae terrae,' that is of 12 acres apiece; 2 holdings 
of 9 acres ; 17 holdings of ' dimidiae terrae,' that is of 6 acres 
apiece ; 4 crofter holdings of a croft and 5 acres apiece ; 15 cotter 
tenancies. In 1277 this arrangement of the nucleus of the manor 
is still visible in almost every particular, and in general we can 
trace the fate of the several tenements from the one survey to 
the other. To show how the tenements pass from father to son, 
it may be worth our while to give the two lists of the tenants of 
' half-lands.' 



1221 

Azo fil. Ailrech. 
Alex, de Alrehee. 
Augustinus. 
Gerardus Sneyl. 
Alicia Vidua. 
Will. Cote. 
Gerardus Laurke. 
Petrus Brockhorn. 
Galf. Harenge. 
Joh. fil. Stanhard. 
Stan grim. 
Azo Messor. 
Galf. Gibat. 

Arnoldus Brodhac. 
Rob. fil. Ricardi. 

Ermegard Vidua. 
Osbertus Balle. 



1277 

Walt. fil. Ace et Galf. nepos ejus. 

Alex, de Aldere. 

Patrik. 

Thom. Malherbe et Rie. Sneil. 

Will. Neno. 

Will. Kote. 

Ric. Lauerke. 

Ric. Brokehorn. 

Nigellus Hereng. 

Joh. Stonhard. 

Joh. fil. Stangrim. 

Wil. fil. Ace. 

Emma quae fuit uxor Gilbert! 

Brodbak. 
Thomas Brodbak. 
Rob. Prepositus et Henricus 

Abbot. 
Will. fil. Armeyard. 
Eob. fil. Osberti Balle. 



» D. B. iv. 505. 2 D. B. i. 191 b. 

' Brit. Mus. MS. Cot. Tiberius, B. 
ii., Claudius, C. xi. 

■' In every case the holding is of 
so many acres ' ware.' The reader 
will know that of late there has been 
a controversy as to the meaning of 
this word. I will not here venture 



any guess as to its meaning, but a 
study of the Willburton rolls con- 
vinced me that the ' plene terre ' 
which near the end of the thirteenth 
century were described as containing 
' duodecim acras ware,' contained at 
a little later time 24 acres, while the 
number of these ' full lands ' re- 

o 2 



109 THE BISHOP OF ELY'S COURT AT LITTLEPORT. 

All these tenancies seem to be definitely unfree ; while the 
substantive services remain the same in the two surveys, their 
servile incidents are more emphatically noticed in the second ; 
even the one ceiisuarius makes fine for marrying his daughter, 
and pays tallage and heriot like the other tenants. Besides these 
agricultural tenancies there are fisheries whence the bishop 
draws an enormous supply of eels, some forty thousand eels from 
this one manor. 

But while the agricultural nucleus of the manor remains un- 
altered, new tenancies are created. In the margin of the second 
survey there are transcripts of two charters creating freehold 
tenancies which seem to be older than the earlier survey, though 
they are not mentioned therein ; one at least of the tenements 
seems to have lain at some distance from the village. Then in 
the second survey, after the nucleus has been described, we find 
the heading * Of the newly enfeoffed,' and after the description of 
some few and small tenements held at money rents, we have 
another heading, * Of the newly enfeoffed in Apesholt ^ and else- 
where in the Marsh,' and on this follow descriptions of numerous 
tenements of three, six, twelve, twenty, a hundred acres held at 
money rents of a penny an acre or thereabouts. It looks as if a 
good deal of land had lately been reclaimed from the fen, and 
this process seems to have gone yet further before Edward II.'s 
day, for the court rolls testify to a much more populous manor 
than that which the ' extents ' would lead us to expect. The 
legal character of these new tenancies is not clearly defined by 
the survey of 1277 ; they may have been freehold ; those who 
held them are said to have been 'enfeoffed,' but some of 
these persons held villan tenements in the village, and were 
presumably unfree men ; also the court rolls contain surrenders 
of many irregular tenements which seem to form no part of the 
original nucleus and yet are reckoned to belong to the * vilen- 
agium ' or 'bondagium domini.' As will be remarked below, 
there is an entry of Edward II.'s day which seems to show that 
the bishop could on occasion empanel a jury of twelve freeholders, 
or at least of twelve free men. But the whole drift of both 
extents and court rolls is to show that the really important and 
flourishing part of the community consisted of the holders of the 
full lands and the half-lands. 



mained constant, and I could see no ' The Ordnance Map shows Apes 

sign that the extent of each of them Hall two miles away from the vil- 

had been doubled by any ' assarta- lage. 
tion ' of the waste. 



THE BISHOP OF ELY'S COUllT AT LlTTLEPOin'. 110 

The rolls consist of twenty-five membranes. Of these one 
comes from Edward I.'s tmie and the year 1285. After that 
there is a long gap ; the remaining membranes deal with the 
period between 1316 and 1327, and report the proceedings of 
some fifty-eight courts. The usage seems to have been to hold 
six courts in the year at somewhat irregular intervals ; a court 
held on some day in each December was ' leta ' as well as 'curia.' 
On that day the civil and manorial business seems to have been 
taken first, and then the beginning of the leet is marked on the 
rolls by the occurrence of the names of the twelve jurors whose 
presentments follow. Year after year the same names occur, 
and on comparing these names with those of the chief pledges, 
who are amerced for not producing the members of their respect- 
ive tithings, it becomes evident that the leet jury was generally, 
if not always, composed of twelve of the chief pledges. On one 
occasion William Tepito was amerced for preventing the chief 
pledges from hearing the articles of presentment by his chatter 
{per garulacionein). In some cases the same man appears as a 
juror for nine or ten years in succession. On one occasion, how- 
ever, for some cause that is not apparent, a more elaborate pro- 
cedure was adopted in the leet, a procedure of double presentment 
conformable to that of the sheriff's tourn. A jury of twelve is 
sworn in, which consists of a different set of men from those who 
ordinarily form the leet jury, and the roll describes them as 
' liberi.' They make presentments of the usual kind, but it seems 
that the material for these presentments is supplied to them by 
the chief pledges. The case of a youth not in frankpledge is 
' concealed,' that is, is not duly presented ; thereupon the twelve 
chief pledges are fined one shilling, and the twelve ' liberi ' are 
fined two shillings. This is almost the only notice that the rolls 
take of free or villan status, though occasionally a tenant of land 
is described as * nativus domini.' If, however, we employ such 
tests of servility as the payment of merchet and the obligation of 
serving as reeve, we come to the result that many, if not most, 
of the chief pledges, the standing jurors of the leet, were unfree. 
On the whole, however, save for a few slight indications, we 
might read through these rolls without guessing that many of 
the names there mentioned are the names of serfs, while a few 
are the names of free men. When these men are litigating 
among themselves, status seems of no importance, nor does it 
affect the police business of the leet. 

The amount of business done by the court may be illustrated 
by an analysis of its proceedings on the 8th of December 1321, 



Ill THE BISHOP OF ELY'S COURT AT LITTLEPORT. 

which day was the leet day. There are three surrenders and 
consequent admittances ; the surrendered tenement in every case 
is small, and the fine no more than a shilling. One action for 
customary land is tried. Notice of one kind or another is 
taken of some thirty personal actions that are pending ; about 
two-thirds of them are actions of debt or detinue, the rest are 
actions of trespass. Then twelve jurors appear upon the scene ; 
they begin with the usual presentment that all alewives and all 
bakers have broken the assize : whereupon 18 alewives and 14 
bakers are amerced; 5 alewives are also amerced for not pro- 
ducing their measures ; 5 persons are presented and amerced as 
common forestallers, and, as is usual, the two aletasters are pre- 
sented and amerced for not having done their duty ; 5 persons 
have fished by night contrary to the bylaw (ordinacio) ; 4 have 
committed nuisances ; there is also a leper to be removed ; 6 
men are amerced for not attending the leet ; 3 have been guilty 
of receiving inmates who are not in frankpledge ; 20 amercements 
are inflicted on 8 chief pledges for not producing those who are 
in their tithings. The whole homage elects a reeve and a reaper 
or hay ward. The total sum raised by the court is 51s. Id., which 
consists chiefly of sixpenny and threepenny amercements. In 
some cases, though not, as it happens, in this instance, the names 
of the two persons appointed and sworn to affeer the amercements 
appear at the end of the court's proceedings ; apparently these 
persons are selected from among those who usually serve as 
jurors and chief pledges, and they seem to be unfree men, though 
they affeer the amercements of free men. 

The following points, of more or less interest, are established 
or suggested by the rolls : — Cases of difliculty or importance 
which arise in the court at Littleport may be reserved for the 
bishop's court or council {consilium) at Ely ; a similar practice 
prevailed on the estates of other great prelates. A litigant who 
thought that insufficient justice was done him might complain to 
the bishop and obtain a writ directed to the steward command- 
ing him to do right in terms similar to those in which the king 
would have addressed one of his sheriffs ; this practice also we 
have seen elsewhere. Though freeholders and villans seem much 
mixed up in litigation, and though we get no information as to 
whether all or any of the suitors were theoretically the judges or 
'judgment finders' of the court, we see that practically the 
steward has very large power in matters of law ; he can overrule 
an alleged custom as unreasonable. 

Many entries deal with the common rights in the fen. Such 



THE BISHOP OF ELY'S COUllT AT LITTLEPOIIT. 112 

rights are valuable, and are carefully limited and preserved. 
Frequent allusions are made to the ordinacio or hilawe which 
regulates them, and certain custodes de la bilaive are appointed, 
whose duty it is to make presentment of offenders who cut turf 
or reeds at undue seasons or in excessive quantities, who fish by 
night, who allow their cattle to stray. 

One curious entry relates to a claim for common rights made 
by some of the humbler inhabitants of the manor. The jurors 
present that strangers who hold nothing of the lord but who 
hire houses from various persons exercise common rights in the 
fen : these subtenants they call ' undersetles.' Asked by what 
title such rights are claimed, the jurors say that every undersetle 
is bound to reap half an acre for the lord, * sicut quilibet anelepy- 
man et anelepywyman,' and that this appears by the terrier. 
Turning to the two surveys, to which doubtless the jurors 
alluded, we find in the older that ' quilibet anlepiman et quilibet 
undersetile ' is bound to reap half an acre ; in the latter * quilibet 
anlepiman et anlepiwyman et quilibet undersetle ' is bound to do 
the same. The claim for common rights is rejected. But what 
is * anelepyman ' ? This term seems to mean a man who is 
single or sole in the sense of being unmarried, and in the 
context it probably points to one who is no householder, no 

* hus-bond.' 

As regards the villan tenements we can see a stage in the 
formation of copyhold tenure. In the cases from Edward I.'s 
reign, in which there is litigation about such tenements, a jury 
is employed ; at a little later date the litigants put themselves, 
not upon a jury, but upon the rolls of the court as giving the 
the proper proof of title. The ' terrier ' also is regarded as a 
document of authority. The influence of the king's courts seems 
visible when a demandant in his count uses the technical 
formula of *a writ of entry ad terminum qui praeteriit.' As to 
conveyancing : it is not usual to state that the surrenderor yields 
up the land to the use or in favour of a new tenant ; it is more 
common to record merely that A comes and surrenders, and that 
B comes and takes the land from the lord without showing any 
connexion between A and B. Occasionally, but rarely, the 

* heirs ' of the new tenant are mentioned in the admittance ; 
more commonly the ' habendum ' is ' sibi et sequele sue ' ; this 
word * sequela ' seems to have about it some taint of villanage : 
one would use it of cattle, one would hardly use it of free men. 
The customary land is usually described as the villenagium or 
hondacjium do7?iini ; the phrase ad voluntateni domini appears 



113 TIÎE BISHOP OF ELY'S COURT AT LITTLEPORT, 

in the later but not in the earher admittances. Admittances of 
a husband and wife to hold to them and their ' sequela ' are fre- 
quent. Some progress has been made in the evolution of a law 
of copyhold ' estates ' ; reversions expectant on life estates are 
surrendered, and there are a few instances of limitations which 
must have created either estates tail or estates in * fee simple 
conditional.' 

In Edward II. 's day the original formation of the manor must 
have suffered many inroads. Surrenders of very small pieces of 
land and of fractional parts of the old normal holdings (plenae 
terrae) are common, and so are demises sanctioned by the lord. 
In not a few cases we can see that one of the greater customary 
tenants, those who serve as jurors, chief-pledges, manorial 
officers, has several distinct tenements, some of which he has let 
out to ' undersetles.' A class of thriving yeomen seems to be 
forming itself, a manorial aristocracy, but still an aristocracy of 
villans who must make fine when they give their daughters in 
marriage. In 1324 many of these tenants got their labour ser- 
vices commuted for additional money rents. On that occasion 
wo find one John Tepito interested either solely or jointly with 
others in seven tenements of various sizes. He was one of the 
big men of the vill, was chief pledge, a constant juror, an affeerer 
of amercements, he was elected reeve ; but he paid a fine when 
his daughter married. 

He was also an habitual litigant and seems usually to have 
had three or four actions pending. Indeed, if the prosperity of 
a community may be measured by litigation, the township of 
Littleport was prosperous. The very numerous entries relating 
to personal actions seldom state the pleadings, but merely record 
that process was issued, law waged, verdict found, or judgment 
given in an action of debt, detinue of chattels, covenant or tres- 
pass. Wager of law was not very common ; the defendants in 
debt and detinue seem to have generally preferred to put them- 
selves upon a jury. The litigation was by no means always of a 
trivial kind ; substantial debts and damages were recovered, and 
there are even cases in which the limit of forty shillings seems to 
have been transgressed. 

In addition to the extracts printed below, and in order to save 
space, the English of some other entries found on the rolls of 
Edward II. 's time shall here be given, since they throw some 
light on the personal actions. 

William le Veke complains of John Mounfort the elder in a 
plea why he unjustly detained from him 100 of sedge which he 



THE BISHOP OF ELY'S COURT AT LITTLEPOET. 114 

[John] found in his [WilHam's] custody (custodia). And the 
said WilHam comes and thereof vouches to warranty Geoffrey le 
S won, who is not present. Therefore a day is given at the next 
court for the production of his warrantor. 

It is found by inquest that John Manimester unjustly detained 
from Oliver Beucosin 3 bushels of barley on behalf of John the 
Reeve's son of Fettewelle which he [John Manimester] undertook 
(manucepit) against him [Oliver] for him [John Reeve's son]. 
Therefore it is considered that he do recover etc. and the said 
John be in mercy for the unjust detainer. 

It is found by inquest that R. B. and M. his wife have 
broken a covenant with Mabel Swon as to her board and clothing 
and her servant girl, to her damage taxed at 40 shillings. 
Therefore it is considered that the said Mabel do recover etc. and 
the said R. and M. be in mercy. 

It is found by inquest that J. B. broke a covenant with 
R. B. as to three vestures [i.e. crops] of two roods of land, to 
the damage of R. B. taxed at 5 s., which the court considers 
etc. 

It is found by inquest that J. M. did not keep a covenant with 
W. A. as to 1000 of sedge, to W.'s damage taxed at 3 s., which 
the court considers etc. 

It is found by inquest that H. B. and A. his wife injustly 
detain from R. L. one fowl and three chicken price 5 d., to their 
damage taxed at 7 d., which the court considers etc. and H. and 
A. be in mercy. 

It is found by inquest that R. M. unjustly detains from J. F. 
8 s. for a boat bought from him and 2s. 3d. for the hire of a 
boat, to J.'s damage taxed at 3 d., which the court considers etc. 
and R. be in mercy. 

It is found by the law of W. I., which S. P. had conceded 
to him, that S. unjustly detains from W. 12 d. for the carriage of 
his sedge. Therefore it is considered that W. do recover and S. 
be in mercy. 

It is found by inquest that S. P. unjustly detained from 
H. M. and J. his wife 300 of sedge. Therefore be he in mercy. 
And that the said J. unjustly detained from the said S. 5 d. 
Therefore be she in mercy. 

H. A. was attached to answer H. F. of a plea why by 
default of the said 11. A. while he was his servant, died one 
foal of the said H. F. price 3 s. to his damage etc. And the 
said H. A. says that it was not by his default and proffers 
his law. 



115 THE BISHOP OF ELY'S COUKT AT LITTLEPOET. 

H. T. was attached to answer J. B. of a plea that he should 
make him a thousand of sedge (faceret ei mill' ley&) whereof he 
sa,ys that he has made 600. Therefore be he in mercy for cove- 
nant broken. And it is commanded to distrain him to make him 
the said 400. 

It is found by inquest that P. I. broke covenant with W. M. 
as to making him a new 'rother,' to his damage taxed at 2d., 
which the court considers that he do recover and for covenant 
broken be he in mercy. And it is commanded to distrain the 
said P. to make the * rother.' ^ 

It is found by inquest that J. A. unjustly detained from W. P. 
and K. his wife half a quarter of barley, four fleeces [velV] price 2 s. 
and 3 s. for the wages of the said K., to damage [whether hers or 
theirs does not appear] taxed at 12 d., which etc. and J. be in 
mercy. 

It is found by inquest that J. Sauser did not stack the sedge 
of J. Albin as he told him to do when he was in his service, to the 
damage of J. Albin taxed at 18 d., which the court considers 
etc. and J. Sauser be in mercy. 

It is found by inquest that J. Albin unjustly detains from J. 
Sauser 3 s. 9 d. for his wages. Therefore it is considered that 
J. Sauser do recover etc. and J. Albin be in mercy. 

It is found by inquest that J. P. unjustly detains from J. E. 
18 d. on a covenant as to his house [de convencione domus sue). 
Therefore etc. and J. P. be in mercy. 

It is found by inquest that Beatrix S. broke covenant with 
Agnes P. as to making one ' roket ' [a rochet, a chemise ?] to her 
damage 1 d. {de uno roket perfac'). 

Some of these entries and some of those which follow seem 
to raise the important question whether long years before the 
king's courts had developed the action of * assumpsit ' as an action 
for the enforcement of agreements not under seal, the local courts 
were not enforcing such agreements. The agreements enforced at 
Littleport are called ' conventiones ' ; still we may well doubt 
whether this word implies that they were agreements which had 
been put into writing. It is hard to believe that these Littleport 
villans, who dared not send their children to school without their 
lord's leave, were very ready with the pen, or that when they 
made agreements about their petty affairs, they procured parch- 



' These two attempts to enforce specific performance of a contract will 
not pass unnoticed. 



THE BISHOP OF ELY'S COUET AT LITTLEPORT. 116 

ment and ink and wax and a clerk. But they certainly do sue 
upon agreements touching very petty affairs ; they sue for 
' unliquidated damages ' and this clearly marks off the action on 
a * conventio ' from an action of debt. 

In this context we ought to remember that the king's court 
never by any formal act or declaration took upon itself to enforce 
the whole law of the land. . Only by degrees and owing to the 
decay of the local courts did its catalogue of the forms of action 
become the one standard of English law. * Where there is a 
right there is a remedy ' : — this we are nowadays told is an 
analytical proposition, a truism ; but * where there is a right 
there is a remedy in the court of our lord the king ' is certainly 
no truism, and at one time would have been plainly false. This 
is shown by the history of defamation : the local courts gave a 
remedy against the slanderer while as yet the king's courts gave 
none. May not the same have been the case with ' parol agree- 
ments ' ? The carta, the written agreement, the seal, these are 
aristocratic forms ; gradually they make their way downwards 
and pervade the whole community ; but they begin at the top. 
There is much evidence that in the twelfth century well-to-do 
knights and freeholders had as yet no seals. In giving an action 
on a sealed ' conventio ' the king's court of the thirteenth century 
provided adequately for the agreements that were likely to come 
before it, the important affairs of the richer and nobler folk ; 
but this did not imply that no ' conventio ' was binding unless 
it was under seal. The time came, however, when the growth 
of parliamentary institutions deprived the king's court and 
chancery of their power of openly inventing and sanctioning 
new forms of action ; the * parol agreement ' got shut out, 
and in after days had to make its entry under an elaborate 
disguise. 

Of course we are not suggesting for one moment that the his- 
tory of the law of contract begins with the enforcement of 
' formless ' agreements. The old * folk law ' may have required 
forms enough ; but there seems no absurdity in the supposition 
that at the beginning of the fourteenth century, the local courts 
were already enforcing formless agreements. Old requirements 
of * form,' for instance the form of ' pledging faith,' or ' plighting 
troth,' may have dropped off because the king's court no longer 
paid much heed to them, while the * form ' which the king's 
court had adopted was utterly inapplicable to the affairs of the 
villans of Littleport. How they offered to prove their ' convcn- 
tiones ' is not very plain, but they seem to have offered 'suit 



117 THE BISHOP OF ELY'S COUIIT AT LITTLEPORT. 

* suit ' could prove a trespass, could prove a debt, why should it 
not prove a ' conventio ' made and broken ? 

We may seriously doubt whether Bracton or even Glanvill 
would have assented to the proposition that agreements made by 
w^ord of mouth if they cannot be enforced by action of debt ought 
not to be enforced at all. Glanvill has a well-known passage 
about ' privataeconventiones.' ' An agreement is made between 
debtor and creditor as to the giving of a gage for the debt ; but 
the gage is not yet given. What remedy has the creditor in such 
a case, in particular if the debtor has made similar agreements 
with other creditors ? * Concerning this it is to be noted that 
the king's court is not wont to defend or warrant these private con- 
ventions as to giving and receiving things in gage or the like if 
they be made out of court or in any court but the king's, and 
therefore if they be not kept the king's court will not meddle 
with the matter, and therefore is not bound to answer concern- 
ing the priorities and privileges of various creditors.' There is 
here no denial that these ' private conventions ' are binding ; the 
king's court *is not wont,' and 'is not bound ' to enforce them ; 
that is all. Bracton finds it necessary to modify the doctrine 
because the action on a written ' conventio ' is becoming common ; 
still he will not quite abandon the old phrase which leaves a 
certain liberty to the king's justices. Speaking of written ' con- 
ventiones ' he says that neither party may recede from them ; 

* still in some cases the king's court is not constrained to go into 
discussions about these private conventions.' ^ In another pas- 
sage he is speaking of * stipulations,' of contracts made 'verbis ' 
as distinguished from contracts made ' per scripturam.' After a 
display of some romanesque learning, he adds that the king's 
court never meddles with conventional stipulations ' save some- 
times by way of favour.' ^ The royal tribunal is now enforcing 
written agreements though it is not absolutely obliged to do so ; 
unwritten agreements it does not enforce, but it might do so if 
it pleased. This is not the language of a man who sees any 
special sanctity in a seal or who would be shocked if he heard 
that in the local courts ' conventiones ' were proved by oral 
evidence. 

The testimony of these Littleport rolls about this matter does 
not stand alone. Among the extracts from the records of the 

^ Glanv. X. 8. domini regis de hujusmodi conven- 

* Bract, f. 34 : * tamen non solet tionibus privatis discutere.' 
aliquando nécessitas imponi curiae ^ Bract, f. 100. 



THE BLSHOP OF ELY'S COURT AT LITTLEPORT 118 

boi'ough court of Nottingham which Mr. Stevenson has admir- 
ably edited, there are several cases from the fourteenth century 
in which a plaintiff sues for ' unliquidated damages ' on a * parol 
agreement.' ^ It may yet turn out that the rolls of local courts 
will provide some much needed materials for a history of our law 
of contract. 

' Records of Nottingham, vol. i. plaintiff as a packer of wool ; p. 

p. 161 (a.d. 1355), defendant has 207-8 (a.d. 1379), defendant has 

broken an agreement to repair a broken agreement to repair a street 

pyx; p. 167 (a.d. 1357), defendant in partnership with plaintiff, 
has broken agreement to employ 



119 CURLti EPISCOPI ELIENSIS APUD LITTLEPOET. 



[Curia Episcopi Eliensis apud Littleport.] 

Littleport. Cnria ibidem tenta die Martis in Vigilia S. 
Jacobi Apostoli anno Pontificatus H. xxviii^°. 

******* 

Willelmus Heruy petit versus Walterum Witing uniim 
mesuagium et très acras terre ut jus suum tanquam de terra 
servili (et unde Harveus pater ejus fuit seisitus etc.) et in 
quod idem Walterus non habet ingressum nisi per Herueum 
le Neweman patrem predicti Willelmi qui illud tenementum 
dimisit predicto Waltero ad terminum qui preteriit.^ Et 
quod tale sit jus suum offert etc. 

Et Walterus venit et défendit jus suum totum quando 
etc. et quod nullum mesuagium nee terram ex dimissione 
dicti Heruei recepit et quod ita sit petit quod inquiratur. 
Et predictus Willelmus similiter. Jur' dicunt super sa- 
cr amentum suum quod Herveus pater predicti Willelmi 
nunquam fuit seisitus in predicto tenemento ita quod potuit 
illud dicto Waltero dimittere. Ideo consideratum est quod 
nichil capiat per querelam suam set pro falso clamore sit 
mT^vj. a. in misericordia, et predictus Walterus eat inde quietus. 

^Jf- ^ :U- iif- itt- lit- ?ii- 

VF -TF "TT -JfT -Tfr Tfi T^ 

Convictum est per inquisicionem quod Henricus Larke 
qui m.ortuus est tenebatur Johanni de Tyd in decem solidis 
pro uno mil' rosci quos idem Johannes petit in plena curia 
versus Julianam Larke uxorem ejusdem Henrici, set jur' 
dicunt quod die quo in fata decessit nichil habuit in bonis 
nee aliquod fecit testamentum. Et datus est partibus dies 
Ely die Lune post festum S. Jacobi Apostoli apud Ely ad curiam 



^ The demandant follows the precedent of * a writ of entry ad terminum 
qui praeteriit.' 



COURT OF THE BISHOP OF ELY AT LITTLEPOET. 119 



[Court of the Bishop of Ely at Littleport.] 

Littleport. Court holden there on Tuesday the Vigil of S, 
James in the twenty- eighth year of Bishop H[ugh of 
Balsham]. 

William Hervey demands against Walter Whiting one 
messuage and three acres of land as his right and as of 
servile land whereof Hervey his father was seised etc., and 
into which the said Walter has not entry save by Hervey 
the Newman his [William's] father who demised that tene- 
ment to the said Walter for a term now expired. And that 
such is his right he offers etc. 

And Walter comes and defends all his [William's] right 
when [and where it shall behove him] and [says] that he 
received no messuage or land by the demise of the said 
Hervey, and that so it is he prays may be inquired. And 
the said William does the like. The jurors say upon their 
oath that Hervey father of the said William was never 
seised of the said tenement so that he could demise it to the 
said Walter. Therefore it is considered that he [William] 
do take nothing by his plaint, but be in mercy for his false 
claim, and that the said Walter do go thence quit. 

tF 7f^ Tf! 7^ tF 7^ ^ 

It is found by an inquest that Henry Lark who is dead 
was bound to John of Tyd in ten shillings for a thousand 
of rushes which the said John demands in full court against 
Juliana Lark, wife of the said Henry ; but the jurors say 
that on the day of his death he had no goods and made no 
testament. And a day is given the parties on Monday 
after the feast of S. James at Ely at the court there to 

" Tuesday, 24 July, P285. 



120 CURIA EPLSCOn ELIENSIS APUD LITTLEPORT. 

ibidem ad audiendum judicium suum. (Postea concordati 
coiKion.atnr suiit et coudonatur amerciamentum quia paup'.) 

Tf! Tf! TF * tIF ^ V 

Convictum est per inquisicionem quod Albinus prepositus 
injuste cepit equum Eeginaldi Brid at illud detinuit contra 
vadium et plegium, et hoc fecit per assensum communitatis 
villate ad dampnum taxatum ad sex den. Ideo consideratum 
est quod recuperet predictos sex denarios de tota communi- 
luTHv. s. tate predicta, et predictus Albinus cum tota villata in 
misericordia. 



Curia ibidem tenta die Martis proxima post festum S. 
Jacobi Apostoli anno xxviii^°. 

Stephanus filius Johannis le Marchant atachiatus fuit 
ad respondendum Johanni Pectston de placito quare traxit 
ipsum in curiam Abbatie de Kameseye de Welle cum ipse 
justiciabilis in curia domini sui Episcopi, et unde dicit quod 
deterioratus est et dampnum habet ad valenciam duorum 
sol. et inde producit sectam. 

Et Stephanus venit et non potest hoc dedicere. Ideo 
uiTir vj. d. consideratum est quod satisfaciat ei de dampnis que taxantur 
ad sex den. [et pro ^] transgressione sit in misericordia. Et 
preceptum est Messori retinere corpus suum quousque satis- 
fecerit vel securitatem invenerit satisfaciendi de dampno et 
misericordia predictis ac eciam de despectu domino Episcopo 
per ipsum illato, per plegium Witpayn de Welle Eogeri Ide 
de eadem. 

******* 

Willelmus Brokenhorn petit versus Margar' Tame et 
Fugerum iilium suum septem acras prati cum pertinenciis 
in Litleport' ut jus etc. . . .^ Kadulfus Brokenhorn pater 
suus fuit seisitus etc., et in quos iidem Margar' et Fugerus 
non habent ingressum nisi post dimissionem quam predictus 
Radulfus inde fecit Thome Tame ad terminum qui preteriit, 
et unde dicit quod idem Radulfus eadem tenementa eidem 

' Roll torn. ^ Roll torn. 



COUKT OF THE BISHOP OF ELY AT LITTLEPORT. 120 

hear judgment. (Afterwards they made compromise and 
the amercement is forborne on the ground of poverty ) 

It is found by an inquest that Albin the reeve wrong- 
fully took a horse of Eeginald Bird and detained it against 
gage and pledge, and this he did by the assent of the 
commonalty of the township, to his damage taxed at 6 d. 
Therefore it is considered that he do recover the said 6 d. 
from the whole commonalty aforesaid, and that the said 
Albin with the whole township be in mercy. 



Court holden there on Tuesday * next after the feast of S. 
James in the twenty-eighth year. 

Stephen son of John the Merchant was attached to 
answer John Pectston of a plea wherefore he drew him 
into the court of th« Abbey of Kamsey at Wells whereas he 
is justiciable in the court of his lord the bishop, and 
whereby (so he says) he is a loser and has damage to the 
value of two shillings ; and thereof he produces suit. 

And Stephen comes and cannot deny this. Therefore 
it is considered that he do satisfy him for his damages 
which are taxed at 6 d. and be in mercy (6 d.) for the tres- 
pass. And the Hayward is ordered to retain his body until 
he shall have made satisfaction or found security for the 
said damages and amercement an'd also for the despite done 
by him to the lord bishop. Pledges Witpayn of Wells and 
Eoger Ide of the same place. 

William Brokenhorn demands against Margery Tame 
and Fuger her son seven acres of meadow with the appur- 
tenances in Littleport as his right, [and as that whereof] 
Kalph Brokenhorn his father was seised etc. and into which 
the said Margery and Fuger have no entry save after the 
demise which the said Ealph made of it to Thomas Tame 
for a term since expired, and he says that the said Ealph 

• Tuesday, 31 July, 1285. 
VOL. IV. P 



121 CUEIA EPISCOPI ELIENSIS APUD LITTLEPORT. 

Thome dimisit ad terminum vite etc., et quod tale sit jus 
suum offert verificare secundum consuetudinem manerii. 

Et Margar' et Fugerus veniunt et defendunt jus suum 
quando etc. et bene cognoscunt seisinam [dicti ^] Eadulfi 
patris sui set dicunt quod .... ten' predicto Thome de 
Tame et cuidam Gileberto fratri suo tenend' [sibi] et here- 
dibus [suis et non] solummodo ad terminum vite . . . didit 
sursum in manum domini in plena curia tempore H. de 
Norewolde Episcopi,^ que quidem tenementa predicto Ful- 
chero tanquam filio et heredi ipsius Thome descenderunt, 
et unde predicta Margar' dotata est per ipsum etc., et quod 
per hujusmodi dbnacionem et reddicionem in curia tenent 
predicta tenementa ut de jure ponunt se super inquisicionem. 
Et predictus Willelmus similiter. Et jur' inquisicionis 
veniunt et dicunt super sacramentum suum quod predictus 
Ricardus pater ipsius Willelmi eadem tenementa prefato 
Thome dedit et in curia sursum reddidit tenenda sibi et 
heredibus suis et non solummodo ad terminum vite. Ideo 
consideratum est quod predicti Margar' et Fugerus eant 
inde quieti et predictus Willelmus nichil capiat per querelam 
mm vj. d. suam set sit in misericordia pro falso clamore, plegii Thomas 
Abbot, Johannes Cornewalleys. 



Lytleport. Curia ibidem die Veneris proxima post festum 
S. Tiburcii Martyris anno R. R. E. fil. R. E. decimo et 
Pontificatus J. de Hothom primo. 

^ tF tT 7t^ ^ ^ tF 

^ Johan par la grace de dieu Euesque dely a Nichel de 
Cantebrugg' senesch ' de nostre Isle dely, saluez od notre 
benecion. For ce qe une Agnes Ancre nostre tenante de 
Lutelport' vint a nous a Somersham et nous cria sus que 

' There are some holes in the ^ This is a letter annexed to the 

roll. foot of the roll. A few words in it 

2 Hugh of Northwold was bishop are hardly legible, 
from 1229 to 1254. 



COUET OF THE BISHOP 0]< ELY AT LITTLEPORT. 121 

demised the said tenements to Thomas for the term of his 
life etc. ; and that such is his right he offers to verify 
according to the custom of the manor. 

And Margery and Fuger come and defend his [WilHam's] 
right when [and where it shall behove them,] and fully they 
confess the seisin of the said Kalph his father [but say that 
he gave the said] tenements to the said Thomas of Tame 
and one Gilbert his brother to hold to them and their heirs 
[and not] merely for life and that [the said Kalph surren- 
dered the said tenements] into the hands of the lord in full 
court in the time of Bishop Hugh of Northwold, which 
tenements descended to the said Fulcher as son and heir of 
the said Thomas, and whereof the said Margery is endowed 
by him etc. ; and that by such gift and surrender in court 
they hold the said tenements as of right, they put them- 
selves upon an inquest. And the said William does the 
like. And the jurors of the inquest come and say upon 
their oath that the said [Ralph] father of the said William 
gave the tenements to the said Thomas and surrendered 
them in court to hold to him and his heirs and not solely 
for the term of his life. Therefore it is considered that the 
said Margery and Fulcher do go quit and that the said 
William do take nothing by his plaint but be in mercy 
(6 d.) for a false claim. Pledges, Thomas Abbot and John 
Cornwallis. 



* 


* 


* 


* 


* 


* 


* 


# 


* 


* 


* 


* 


# 


# 



Littleport. Court holden there on Friday " after the feast 
of S. Tiburcius the Martyr in the tenth year of King 
Edward the Second and the first year of Bishop John 
of Hotham. 

yf: 7^ 7^ ^ ^ ^ 7^ 

John by the grace of God bishop of Ely to Nicholas 
of Cambridge steward of our Isle of Ely greeting with our 
benison. For that one Agnes Ancre a tenant of ours at 
Littleport came to us at Somersham and complained to us 

" Friday, 13 Aii^. 1310. 

p 2 



122 CURIA EPISCOn ELIENSIS APUD LITTLEPORT. 

VOUS ne lauez mie voluz faire ley et reson endroit de sa 
dowaire que em la détient a tort en Lettelport' a ce que elle 
dit nous vous mandons que vous facez diligeaument cerchier 
• voz roulles et voz remembrances pur ent sauer la vérité, et 
si par [cases] vous ny purrez ren trouer facez sur ce enquere 
par bones et loiaux gentz de Littelport par quieles a votre 
escient [la vérité purra mieuz] estre declarre issincque droi- 
ture se face et que nous nen oions mes plaint. Done a 
notre manere de [Somersham] le xxviij. jour de Nouembre. 

#^A jA dA, «3^ ^M «1^ 

tT* "V ^ 7p Tp 7F 

Gwido filius Henrici Gys sursum reddit in manum 
domini rêver sionem unius mesuagii et dim. virgate terre 
cum pert, de villenagio domini ipsum contingentem post 
mortem Agnetis Abbot ut de hereditate dicti Henrici patris 
sui secundum consuetudinem manerii. Et venit Johannes 
Tepito et reversionem totius tenementi predicti cum suis 
pert, cepit de domino tenendum sibi et sequele sue in vil- 
fiu. ij. m. lenagio secundum consuetudinem manerii per consuetudines 
etc. Et dat domino pro ingressu inde habendo per plegium 
Messarii. 



Lytleport. Curia et Leta ibidem die Mercurii in festo Con- 
cepcionis B. Marie anno R. R. E. fil. R. E. decimo et 
Pontificatus J. de Hothum Elyensis Episcopi primo. 

[Walterus Bindebere .... jur' dicunt super sacra- 
v]. (1. mentum suum ^] quod Johannes Beystens tractavit gurgites 

apud Welhenhee noctanter et asportavit inde piscem precii 
vj. d., et quod est amovendus extra villam. Et ret' per 
Galfridum de Wintering. 
iij. d. Et quod Thomas filius Eeginaldi Clerici suspectus est de 

minutis latrociniis et amovendus extra villam. Et ret' per 
patrem suum. 

Et quod Henricus Beucosin et uxor ejus suspecti sunt 

• Twelve jurors are named who make the following among other pre- 
sentments. 



COUKT OF THE BISHOP OF ELY AT LITTLEPORT. 122 

that you have not done her law and reason in the matter 
of her dower at Littleport which is wrongfully withholden 
from her, so she says, we order you to have your rolls and 
memoranda diligently searched that the truth maybe known, 
and if perchance you can find nothing, then do you have 
this inquired by good and lawful folk of Littleport by whom 
according to your knowledge the truth may be best declared, 
so that right may be done and that we may hear no plaint. 
Given at our manor of Somersham the 28th day of November. 

** ^ Of. uc, ^ tU- iie. 

7F TP" 7T« TT^ 7t» 7^ 

Guy son of Henry Guys surrenders into the lord's 
hand the reversion of one messuage and a half-virgate of 
land with the appurtenances, being of the lord's villanage, 
coming to him on the death of Agnes Abbot as of the in- 
heritance of the said Henry his father according to the 
custom of the manor. And John Tepito came and took 
from the lord the reversion of the whole of the said tene- 
ment to hold to him and his sequela in villanage according to 
the custom of the manor by the customs etc. And he gives 
the lord 2 marks that he may have entry ; the Hayward is 
pledge. 



Littleport. Court and Leet holden there on Wednesday 
the feast of the Conception of the B. V. Mary in the 
tenth year of King Edward the Second and the first of 
John of Hotham, Bishop of Ely. 

tF If yF ^ ^ T^F yf 

[Walter Bindebere and eleven other jurors say upon 
their oath] that John Beystens drew the pools at Wellen- 
heath by night and carried thence fish, price 6 d., and that 
he ought to be removed out of the vill. He is retained by 
Geoffrey of Wintring (6 d.). 

And that Thomas son of Keginald Clerk is suspected 
of petty larcenies and ought to be removed out of the vill. 
And he is retained by his father (3 d.). 

And that Henry Beucosin and his wife are suspected 

• Wednesday, 8th Dec. 1316. 



123 



CUEIA EPISCOPI ELIENSIS APUD LITTLEPOET. 



aiuovcantur 



de minutis latrociniis et consuete cap' gall' et aucarum, qui 
amovendi sunt extra villam. 

Et quod Kicardus Schirhorne suspectus est de minutis 
latrociniis et amo vendus extra villam. 

Et quod Bartholomeus Chapeleyn consuetus est asportare 
lesch' diversorum et ret' per Johannem Mounfort et amo- 
vendus est. 

Et quod Kicardus Torold asportavit de forag' Eoberti 
de Char et' iiij. garbas, ideo etc. 

Et quod Johannes Fie est communis malefactor de virgis 
et de leschia et pisce in marisco de diversis hominibus. 

Et quod Galfridus Knyt qui fuit Kipereue in autumpno 
cepit ^ glenes male adquis' a diversis transgr' et dictum 
bladum fecit triturari unde habuit j. bus. frumenti precii 
iiij. s. iiij. d. XX. d., j. bus. ordci precii xij. d. et ij. bus. fabarum precii 
XX. d. 



vi. d 



vj. d 



"3 



vj. d 



preceptum 
est levare 



ij. d. 



Et quod Willelmus Hasel tenet unam molam manualem 
ad nocumentum molendini domini et non facit sectam ad 
molendinum. 



Litleport. Curia et Lata ibidem die Jovis in erastino S. 
Thome Apostoli anno supradieto [anno R. R. E. fil. R. E. 
xi° et Pcntificatus J. de Hothom secundo]. 



mia iii. d. 



Johannes de Elm querens optulit se versus Johannem 
Fox juniorem de placito quare ix^ lesch' sue car' et ei injuste 
det' etc. 

Et dictus Johannes Fox venit et défendit etc. et dicit 
quod nullam lesch' ipsius Johannis de Elm asportavit prout 
ei imponit, et hoc paratus est ei inde defendere secundum 
quod curia consideraverit etc., et unde vad' ei legem, quam 
quidem legem dictus Johannes de Elm ei concessit, quam 
quidem legem dictus Johannes Fox facer e noluit. Ideo 
consideratum est quod dictus Johannes de Elm recuperet 



' cc2>ii repeated. 



COUET OF THE BISHOP OF ELY AT LITTLEPOET. 123 

of petty larcenies and are wont to take fowls and geese, 
and they ought to be removed from the vill. (Let them 
be removed.) 

And that Eichard Shirehorn is suspected of petty lar- 
cenies and should be removed from the vill (6 d.). 

And that Bartholomew Chaplain is wont to carry off the 
sedge of divers persons and is retained by John Mounfort 
and should be removed (6 d.). 

And that Eichard Torold carried off four sheaves of the 
forage of Eobert of Charet; therefore etc. (3d.). 

And that John Fie is a common malefactor touching 
the sticks and sedge and fish in the fen belonging to divers 
persons (6 d.) . 

And that Geoffrey Knight, who was the reaping-reeve, 
at harvest time took from divers trespassers the gleanings 
wrongfully acquired by them, and had the said corn threshed 
and had thence 1 bushel of wheat, price 20 d., 1 bushel of 
barley, price 12 d., and 2 bushels of beans, price 20 d. (4s. 
4d.). 

*ji A ^ ^ ^ iii- 

vF "^ ft* "3^ "7^ "Jv* 

And that William Hasel holds a handmill to the nuisance 
of the lord's mill and makes no suit to the lord's mill (2 d.). 

Littleport. Court and Leet there on Thursday * the morrow 
of S. Thomas the Apostle in the [eleventh year of King 
Edward the Second and the second of Bishop John of 
Hotham]. 

*^i. ^i. M, ^ ^e. d£, 

TP^ 7r* "ïF ff* fF v^ 

John of Elm plaintiff appears against John Fox the 
younger in a plea of trespass wherefore he carried off 9 
hundreds of his sedge and unjustly detains them from him. 

And the said John Fox comes and defends etc., and says 
that he carried off no sedge of the said John of Elm as he 
surmises against him, and this is he ready to defend against 
him in such wise as the court shall consider. And of this 
he has waged a law, and the said John of Elm has conceded 
him the said law, and the said John Fox has declined to 
make the law. Therefore it is considered that the said 

" Thursday, 22nd Dec. 1317. 



124 CURIA EPISCOPI ELIENSIS APUD LITTLEPORT. 

lesch' suam etc., et dictus Johannes Fox in misericordia 
etc. per plegium Johannis de Elm. 

4f ^ IF i(f * ^ * 

De Willelmo le Meyre batellario quia noluit cariare 
homines domini prout cepisse potuit de extraneis et con- 
ij. 9. tempnit ballivos domini. Ideo pro contemptu in miseri- 

cordia per plegium Johannis Porteroye et Johannis Pexton. 

*U/- O^, Ut ^ U^ df. 

TT* vl» Tl* TF 7^ y^ 

[Jur' dicunt super sacramentum suum ^] quod Thomas 

Launce (et Johannes frater ejus) fur' est ij. aucas de Henrico 

pre' est. Piscatore. Ideo preceptum est amovere ipsos extra villam. 

Et quod Johannes Pope fur' est anguillas Henrici Pis- 
xij. d. catoris ad valenciam vj. d. et r' per Willelmum Hewen. 

Et Thomas filius Keginaldi Clerici consuetus est furare 
pre' est. miuuta et ret' per patrem suum. Ideo amoveatur etc. 

Et quod Simon Bretoun suspectus est de minutis latro- 
pre'est. ciuiis. Ideo amoveatur. 

Et quod Johannes Piscator posuit fimum suum in com- 
mun! venella et illam ita perforavit quod nemo fere ibidem 
xij. (i. potest meare. 

Et quod Johannes Daune consuetus est frangere tasso- 
rum ^ lesch' diversorum et garbas asportare et r' per Eicar- 
xij. d. dum Auke. 

Quod Johannes Boystons piscatus est noctanter in alienis 
xij. d. pisciniis cum rethibus contra assisam. 



Lyttleport. Curia ibidem die Mercurii proxima ante 
festum S. Gregorii anno R. R. E. fil. R. B. xi° et 
Pontiflcatus J. de Hothom secundo. 

Compertum est per inquisicionem quod Willelmus Peche 
non fecit leschiam Oliveri Beucosin in Hakonnfen citra 

' Twelve named jurors make the following among other presentments. - Sic. 



COUKT OF THE BISHOP OF ELY AT LITTLEPORT. 124 

John of Elm do recover his sedge and that the 'said John 
Fox be in mercy (3 d.) ; pledge, John of Elm. 

«#*♦*♦# 

William le Meyre, boatman, refused to carry the lord's 
men from foreign parts whereas he could have taken them 
and he contemns the lord's bailiffs. Therefore be he in 
mercy (2 s.) for the contempt, on the pledge of John Porteroye 
and John Pexton. 

T^ tP tF ^ ^f ^f ^^ 

[The jurors say upon their oath] that Thomas Launce 
and John his brother have stolen two geese from Henry 
Fisher. Therefore it is ordered that they be removed from 
the vill. 

And that John Pope has stolen eels from Henry Fisher 
to the value of 6 d., and he is retained by William Hewen 
(12d.). 

And that Thomas son of Eeginald Clerk is wont to 
steal small things, and is retained by his father. Therefore 
be he removed etc. 

And that Simon Breton is suspected of petty larcenies. 
Therefore be he removed. 

And that John Fisher put his dung in the common lane 
and broke up the said lane so that one can hardly pass by 
(12d.). 

And that John Daune is wont to break up the stacks of 
sedge of divers persons and carry off handfuls ; and he is 
retained by Eichard Auke (12 d.). 

And that John Boystons has fished by night with nets 
in the fisheries of others against the assize (12 d.). 



Littleport. Court there on Wednesday * before the feast of 
S. Gregory in the eleventh year of King Edward the 
Second and the second of John of Hotham. 

******* 

It is found by inquest that William Peche did not make 
the sedge of Oliver Beucosin in Hakonfen before Midsummer 

• Wednesday, 8lh March, 1318. 



mia vj. d. 



125 



CURIA EPISCOPI ELIENSIS APUD LITTLEPORT. 



festum Nativitatis S. Johannis Baptiste uno anno elapso 
(prout secum convenit) ad dampnum dicti Oliver! taxatum 
ad xij. d. quos curia considérât etc. Et dictus Willelmus 
in misericordia. 



Compertum est per inquisicionem quod Alicia uxor Wil- 
lelmi le Huxtere defamavit Mabiliam uxorem Kicardi 
niiiiij. d. Mauntele unde eadem Mabilia deteriorata fuit in capitulo 
ad dampnum ipsorum Kicardi et Mabilie xl. d. 

7^ yf! ^ tF 7P ^ tF 

Jur' présentant quod Willelmus le Fishere vendidit d. 
mïâviij. d. lesch' extra communam contra ordinacionem. 

Et quod Petrus de Weting' qui non est communarius 
falcavit in communa vj^ lesch' sine advocatione alicujus 
mïâviij. d. commuuarii et vendidit extra. 



gersuma 
condouatur 



Johannes de Elm qui tenuit de dominicis domini sex 
acras terre de novo arentate ^ per servicium xij. s. per annum 
dictam terram reliquid ^ friscam et incultam ob inopiam et 
nimiam caristiam illius redditus, quam quidem terram 
decetero manutenere nee defendere potest prout compertum 
est per totum homagium. Et modo venit idem Johannes 
et dictam terram sur sum reddit in manum domini. Et 
venit Kobertus le Charetere et dictam terram cepit de 
domino tenendam per iiij. annos plenarie completos post 
festum S. Michaelis ultimo preteritum, et gersuma con- 
donatur. 



mia vj. d. 



Lytleport. Curia ibidem die Lune proxima ante festum 
S. Dunstani anno supradicto [R. R. E. fil. R. E. xi°]. 

7F tP TÇ^ 7f! v^ Tf: -fp 

De Johanne Fox juniore pro convencione fracta versus 
Johannem Munfort de cariag' lesch' ad dampnum suum 
taxatum ad ij. s. quos curia considérât. 

Compertum est per inquisicionem quod Johannes 
Brokenhorn vendidit quamdam tapetam quam Is' Launce 

' Sic. ' Sic. 



COURT OF THE BISHOP OF ELY AT LITTLEPORT. 125 

in last year as he covenanted, to the damage of the said 
Oliver taxed at 12 d. which the court considers [that he do 
recover] etc. And the said WiUiam in mercy (6 d.). 
******* 

It is found by inquest that Alice wife of "William 
Huckster has defamed Mabel wife of Richard Mauntele, 
whereby the said Mabel was put to loss in the chapter [i.e. 
the ecclesiastical court], to the damage of Eichard and 
Mabel 40 d. (Amercement 3 d.) 

******* 

The jurors present that William Fisher sold 500 of sedge 

outside the commune against the ordinance. (Amerced 8 d.) 

And that Peter of Weting, who is not a commoner, has 

mown 600 of sedge in the common without the authority 

of any commoner and sold them outside. (Amerced 8 d.) 

*»lt Je. ^i. ^i, Jt îL- 

^T^ 7P 7F tF vP^ vt? 

John of Elm, who held of the demesne of the lord 6 acres 
of land newly set to rent by the service of 12 s. a year has 
left the said land fresh and uncultivated on account of his 
poverty and the excessive heaviness of that rent, and is not 
able for the future to maintain or discharge the said land, 
as is found by the whole homage. And now comes the said 
John and surrenders the said land into the lord's hand. 
And Eobert Carter came and took the said land from the 
lord to hold for four whole years from Michaelmas last. 
The fine is forborne. 



Littleport. Court there on Monday " before the feast of S. 
Dunstan in the [eleventh year of King Edward the Second. 

*^t, ^ iii. lie. iU- ^ 

^ TT^ vï^ 7(* "T^ 7^ 

From John Fox the younger an amercement (of 6 d.) for 
breach of a covenant with John Mounford for the carriage of 
sedge, to his damage taxed at 2 d., which the court awards. 

It is found by inquest that John Brokenhorn sold a 
carpet which Isabella Launce had pledged with him for 1 d., 

• Monday, 15 May, 1318. 



mie 1]. a. 
ij.d. 



126 CURIA EPISCOPI ELIENSIS APUD LITTLEPORT. 

mïïvj. d. ei vadiaverat pro j. d. ad dampnum ipsius Is' taxatum ad 
ix. d. quos curia considérât et dictus Johannes in miseri- 
cordia per plegium Eoberti le Cartere et Messoris. 

Compertum est per inquisicionem quod Johannes Fox 
junior fregit domum Simonis Bretoun et Marg' uxoris ejus 
ad dampnum ipsorum Simonis et Marg' x. s. Ideo con- 
sideratum est quod dicti Simon et Marg' récupèrent etc. 

mm vj. d. vel quod dictus Johannes reparet dictam domum in statu 
quo prius, et dictus Johannes in misericordia. 

Juratores présentant quod Alanus Kushepilere (ij. d.), 
Johannes Kiggel (ij. d.), Willelmus Godloke (ij. d.), Hen- 
ricus Bercarius (ij. d.), Johannes le Packere (ij. d.), 
Johannes Daune (ij. d.), Thomas Launce (ij. d.), Johannes 
Pomat (ij. d.), Thurstanus de Lakinghethe (ij. d.), Johannes 
le Bercher (ij. d.), Willelmus le Charetere (ij. d.) et Kobertus 
le Vach' (ij. d.) consuete coligant ova botorum et exportant 
extra mariscum ad magnam distruccionem. Ideo etc. 
Ideo Hugo Fie similiter (ij. d.). 



Lyttleport. Curia ibidem die Martis proxima ante festum 
S. Margarete Virginis anno R. R. E. fil. R. E. xiii° 
et Pontiflcatus J. de Hothum tercio. 

Compertum est per inquisicionem quod Johannes de 

Elm injuste detinet Johanni Tepito in ^ iiij. s. de conductione 

miivj. d. batelli sui ad dampnum ipsius Johannis Tepito taxatum ad 

vj. den. quos curia etc. et dictus Johannes de Elm in 

misericordia, per pleg.* ^ 

Compertum est per inquisicionem quod Johanues Mon- 

mii xij. d. fort fecit distringi Johannem de Elm per ballivos Abbatis 

de Kameseye ubi potuit ipsum justiciasse hic in curia 

domini in prejudicium domini et dampnum dicti Johannis 

de Elm taxatum ad vj. d.^ quos curia etc., pleg' K. Cartere. 

Compertum est per inquisicionem quod Ricardus Maunt- 

* Omit in. ' Another case of this kind is 

' No pledges are named. * brought before this same court. 



COURT OF THE BISHOP OF ELY AT LITTLEPORT. 126 

to her damage taxed at 9 d., which the court awards her. 
And the said John be in mercy (6 d.) on the pledge of Kobert 
Carter and the Hayward. 

It is found by inquest that John Fox the younger broke 
the house of Simon Breton and Margery his wife to their 
damage 10 s. Therefore it is considered that the said Simon 
and Margery do recover etc. or that the said John do 
repair the said house as it was before, and the said John 

in mercy (6 d.). 

* * * * * « # 

The jurors present that Alan Rushpiller (2d.), John 
Kiggel (2 d.), WilHam Godloke (2 d.), Henry Shepherd (2 d.), 
John Packer (2 d.), John Daune (2d.), Thomas Launce (2d.), 
John Pomat (2d.), Thurstan of Lakingheath (2d.), John 
Shepherd (2 d.), WilHam Carter (2d.), and Robert Cowherd 
(2 d.) habitually collect bitterns' eggs and export them out of 
the fen to the great destruction etc. Therefore [be they 
in mercy]. Hugh Fie likewise (2d.). 



Littleport. Court there on Tuesday * next after the feast of 
S. Margaret in the thirteenth year of King Edward the 
Second and the third of John of Hotham. 

It is found by inquest that John of Elm unjustly detains 
from John Tepito 4 s. for the hire of his boat, to the damage 
of the said John Tepito taxed at 6 d., which the court awards 
etc. and the said John of Elm in mercy (6 d.) ; on the 
pledge of [no pledges named]. 

It is found by inquest that John Mounfort caused John 
of Elm to be distrained by the bailiffs of the Abbot of 
Ramsey whereas he might have brought him to justice here 
in the lord's court, to the prejudice of the lord and to the 
damage of the said John of Elm taxed at 6 d., which the 
court awards (amercement 12 d.) ; pledge, R. Carter. 

It is found by inquest that Richard Mauntele (2 s.) and 

» Tuesday, 24th July, 1319. 



127 CUBIA EPISCOPI ELIENSIS APUD LITTLEPORT. 

tele (ij. s.) et Willelmus de Helegeye (xij. d.) defamaverunt 

curiam domini hie (falso et maliciose) quod nemo potest 

m¥iij. s. justiciam in curia predicta optinere in contemptum domini. 

'I^ w w w w fk w 

Compertum est per inquisicionem quod Henricus Ber- 

carius fecit unam viam per medium crufti Johannis Thepito 

miivj. d. ad dampnum ipsius Johannis taxatum ad iij. d., quos curia 

considérât, et dictus Henricus in misericordia, per plegium 

Johannis le Fishere et Messarii. 

Preceptum est distringere Kobertum le Charetere ad 
habendum Simonem Molendinarium manupastum suum ad 
pre' est. rcspondendum Johanni le Hynde de placito transgres- 
sionis. 

Preceptum est sicut pluries distringere Eadulfum Bolay, 
Eobertum Bolay, Thomam Thame capellanum, Kobertum 
le Charetere, Johannem de Stowe personam de Kingstede, 
tenentes tenementa que fuerunt Michaelis de Lytleport, qui 
tenent diversas partes cujusdam mesuagii et unius acre 
terre et dim. de villenagio domini que quondam fuerunt 
Eicardi Pickerel in auxilio Salomonis Pickerel qui tenet 
sextam partem illius mesuagii et duas rodas terre. Qui 
quidem tenentes clamant tenere duas partes libère absque 
omni servicio inde faciendo in prejudicium et exhereda- 
cionem etc. Ideo datus est eis dies apud Ely coram 
domino Eoberto de Maddingle et Johanne de Cant' et aliis 
de consilio domini ostensuris si quid pro se habeant vel 
dicere sciant. 



pre' est. Johannes Tepito dat domino vj. d. pro auxilio habendo 

ad levandum debitum suum quod recuperavit versus 
V]- d. Johannem de Elm in ista curia contentum.* 



• Entries such as this are not very uncommon. John pays sixpence to 
get three shilhngs. 



COURT OF THE BISHOP OF ELY AT LITTLEPOET. 127 

William of Hilgey (12 d.) have falsely and maliciously de- 
famed the lord's court here, saying that no one can get 
justice in the said court, in contempt of the lord. 

******* 

It is found by inquest that Henry Shepherd made a 
way through the middle of the croft of John Tepito to John's 
damage taxed at 3d., which the court awards ; and the said 
Henry in mercy (6 d.) on the pledge of John Fisher and the 
Hayward. 

It is ordered to distrain Kobert Carter to produce Simon 
Miller his mainpast to answer John the Hind in a plea of 
trespass. 

It is ordered, as more than once before, to distrain 
Kalph Bolay, Kobert Bolay, Thomas Thame the chaplain, 
Robert Carter, John of Stowe parson of Kingstead, the 
tenants of the tenements which belonged to Michael of Little- 
port, who hold divers parts of a certain messuage and one 
acre of land and a half of the lord's villanage which formerly 
belonged to Eichard Pickerel, that they come to the aid of 
Solomon Pickerel who holds a sixth part of that messuage 
and two roods of land ; which said tenants claim to hold 
two [third] parts freely and without doing any service there- 
for to the prejudice and disherison [of the bishop]. There- 
fore a day is given to them at Ely before Sir Eobert of 
Madingley and John of Cambridge and others of the council 
of the lord [Bishop] to show whether they have anything 
to produce or say for themselves. 

*Jt sli Jt ^ *^ Ut 

tF tF "tF 7F TF "^ 

John Tepito gives the lord 6 d. that he may have aid to 
levy his debt that he has recovered in this court against 
John of Elm. 



128 CUEIA EPISCOPI ELIENSIS APUD LITTLEPORT. 



Lyttleport. Curia ibidem die Veneris proxima post 
festum S. Mathei Apostoli anno R. R. E. fil, R. E. 
xiii° et Pontiflcatus J. de Hothum tercio. 

* # # # * ♦ # 

Compertum est per inquisicionem quod Willelmus de 
Elm perturbavit Oliverum Beucosyn apud Wille asportando 
remigium suum extra navem suam ad dampnum ipsius 
Oliveri taxatum ad vj. d. Ideo etc., et dictus Willelmus in 
mi^iij. d. misericordia per plegium Johannis de Elm et Henrici 
Bercarii. 

* Id * * * * * 

Compertum est per inquisicionem Henr' Sewetegrom 
vend' Koberto le Charetere ij. eves matrices quos advocavit 
ei esse sanas que quidem oves expirarunt pre putredine ad 
dampnum ipsius Koberti taxatum ad xviij. d. Ideo con- 
mmiij. d. sideratum etc. et dictus Henricus in misericordia per 
plegium dicti Eoberti. 

#♦*♦##♦ 

Henricus Piscator prepositus domini dat domino pro 
fin. dim. m. Hcencia habenda amovendi ab officio prepositure. 

Johannes Fox senior dat domino pro licencia habenda 

fin. xviij. d. ab officio messoris. 

* % It * * * * 

[Jur' présentant] quod Johannes de Stretham famulus 
mmiij. d. Fratrum Hospitalis [S. Johannis] dedit j. garbam fabarum 
in campo contra le bilawe. 

Et quod Fratres Hospitalis depasti fuerunt oves suas in 
vj. d. autumpno ante glaniatores contra le bilawe. 

Et quod dicti Fratres tenent ij. canes euntes in garenno 
pre' est. domini unde oritur suspicio. 

* =)(! * * * * * 

Johannes Fox junior dat domino pro licencia habenda 
amovendi ab officio messarii ad quod electus fuit, per 
fin. ij. 8. plegium Messarii. 

^ ^ ^ IF W ^ W 



COUET OF THE BISHOP OF ELY AT LITTLEPORT. 128 



Littleport. Court there on Friday * next after the feast 
of S. Matthew in the thirteenth year of King Edward 
the Second and the third of Bishop John of Hotham. 

* K: * * * * * 

It is found by inquest that William of Elm has per- 
turbed Oliver Beucosin at Wille by carrying off his oars 
from his boat, to the damage of the said Oliver taxed at 6 d. 
Therefore etc., and the said William in mercy (3 d.) on the 
pledge of John of Elm and Henry Shepherd. 

******* 

It is found by inquest that Henry Sweetgroom sold to 
Eobert Carter two ewes which he avowed to him to be 
sound, but which died of the rot to the damage of the said 
Eobert taxed at 18 d. Therefore it is considered etc., and 
the said Henry in mercy (3d.) on the pledge of the said 

Eobert. 

******* 

Henry Fisher, the lord's reeve, gives the lord (6 s. 8 d.) 
for leave to quit the office of reeve. 

John Fox the elder gives the lord (18 d.) to be excused 
the office of hayward. 

******* 

[The jurors present] that John of Stretham, servant of the 
Brethren of the Hospital [of S. John], gave away one sheaf 
of beans in the field against the by-law. (Amerced 3 d.) 

And that the Brethren of the Hospital have pastured 
their sheep in autumn before the gleaners against the by-law. 
(Amerced 6 d.) 

And that the said Brethren keep two dogs which run in 
the lord's warren which give rise to suspicions. (Order 
given.) 

******* 

John Fox the younger gives the lord (2 s.) to quit the 
office of hayward to which he was elected; pledge, the 
Hayward. 



' Friday, 28th Sept. 1319. 
VOL. IV, . Q 



129 CUEIA EPISCOPI ELIENSIS APUD LITTLEPOET. 

Lytleport. Leta et Curia ibidem tente die Martis 
proxima post festum Concepcionis B. Marie anno R. 
R. E. fil. R. E. xiii° et Pontifieatus J. de Hothum 
Elyen&is Episcopi iiii*°. 



mia ij. s. 



Compertum est per inquisicionem quod Johannes Mon- 
fort junior fecit hamsokne in domo Johannis Fox j unions et 
ipsum insultavit cum j. cultello extracto ad dampnum 
ipsius Johannis Monfort ^ taxatum ad ij. s. Ideo etc. per 
plegium Eoberti le Cartere et K. Bolay. 



mia xij. d. 



vj. d. 



Ijytleport. Curia ibidem die Veneris in septimana Pen- 
tecostes anno supradicto. 

«alt ^ âi& ^& âifr ^ 

^ 71» IB» vF w Tr 

Juratores présentant quod Johannes Bantelig' qui non 
est terram tenens falcavit lesch' ante festum S. Johannis 
contra communem ordinacionem. Ideo etc. ... Et quod 
Johannes le Packere colligit virgas et vendit extra com- 
munam contra ordinacionem. ... Et quod Johannes le 
Bolewere abscondit se a cariagio domini et Salomon Ilger 
similiter (vj. d.). Et quod Johannes Hering' tenet ij. 
homines falcantes in marisco ubi habere debet de jure nisi 
j. hominem. 

{Et quod omnes subscripti falcaverunt lesch' ante le 
Hokeday contra ordinacionem etc. ideo etc. videlicet, 
ad'ferboteet Johauucs Bautelig' vj'', Johannes le Hynde similiter m, 
Eadulfus Bolay similiter m, Eoesia Bindebere vj. c . . .^} 

Et quod Thomas Brokenhorn et Eadulfus Bercarius 
ceperunt fenum de tasso domini et illud posuerunt coram 
vj. d. bestiis suis imparcatis sine licencia. 



vj. d. 



1].S. 



mie condo- 
nantur quia 



Compertum est per inquisicionem quod Johannes de 
Elm injuste detinet Henrico Bercario vj. d. de maritagio 
filie sue. Ideo etc. per plegium predictum. 



* Corr. Johannis Fox. whole entry is crossed out for the 

2 Six other offenders ; but the reason stated in the margin. 



COURT OF THE BISHOP OF ELY AT LITTLEPORT. 129 

Littleport. Leet and Court holden there on Tuesday" after 
the Conception of B. Mary in the thirteenth year of 
King Edward the Second and the fourth of Bishop 
John of Hotham. 

******* 

It is found by inquest that John Mounfort the younger 
made hamsoken on the house of John Fox the younger and 
assaulted him with a drawn knife to his damage taxed at 
2 s. Therefore etc. (and John Mounfort in mercy 2 s.) on 
the pledge of Kobert Carter and K. Bolay. 



Littleport. Court there on Friday in Whitsun week in the 
said year. 

******* 

The jurors present that John Bantelig who is not a 
terre-tenant mowed sedge before the feast of S. John against 
the general ordinance; therefore etc. (12 d.). . . . And 
that John Packer collects sticks and sells them outside the 
commune against the ordinance (6d.). . . . And that John 
Bullweir subtracts himself from the lord's carrying service 
and Solomon Ilger likewise (6 d.). And that John Herring 
keeps two men mowing in the fen where he should have 
but one (2 s.). 

{And that all the below-named have mown sedge before 
Hokeday against the ordinance : therefore etc. ; to wit, 
John Bantelig 600, John Hind 1,000, Ealph Bolay 1,000, 
Eose Bindebere 600 } (The amercements are for- 
borne, for this was for fire-bote and house-bote.) 

And that Thomas Brokenhorn and Kalph Shepherd have 
taken hay from the lord's rick and set it before their im- 
pounded beasts without leave. (Amercement 6cl.) 

******* 

It is found by inquest that John of Elm wrongfully de- 
tains from Henry Shepherd 6 d. of the marriage portion of 
his [John's] daughter. Therefore etc. ; pledge as before.** 



» Tuesday, 11th Dec. 1319. 

*• John of Elm has already been amerced for another cause. 



Q 2 



130 CUKIA EPISCOPI ELIENSIS APUD LITTLEPOET. 

Lyttleport. Curia ibidem die Lune in crastino S. Mar- 
garet e Virginis anno R. R. E. fi.1. R, E. xiiii° et J. de 
Hothum quarto. 

Id ***** 1^ 

Johannes Fox invenit plegios viz. Eobertum le Charetere, 

m*» Kadulfum Bolay et Walterum Albin ad reddendum Magistro 

Hospitalis S. Johannis unum librum continentem martilog' 

manual' et processionar' contra proximum cinodum vel 

valorem ejusdem. 

******* 

Johannes Gardhawt sursum reddit in manum domini 
unum mesuagium capt' de dominicis domini. Et venit 
Katerina filia ejus et dictum mesuagium cepit de domino 

fin. ij. 8. tenendum de domino secundum consuetudinem manerii per 
cons' etc., et dat domino pro ingressu inde habendo per 
plegium Messoris. Et predicta Katerina concessit predicto 
Johanni patri suo dictum mesuagium tenendum ad totam 
vitam suam per cons' inde domino fac' dum vixerit, et post 
obitum ipsius Johannis dictum mesuagium dicte Katerina 
et heredibus suis rem' etc. 

miiiij. d. De Alicia Balle quia defamavit bladum domini per quod 

alii emptores reliquerunt emere de blado domini ad dampnum 
domini. 



Littleport. Curia ibidem die Veneris proxima post festum 
S. Luce Evangeliste anno R, R. E. fll. R. E. xiiii° et 
Pontificatus J. de Hothum Elyensis Episcopi quinto. 

******* 

miitiij. d. De Eadulfo Bolay quia non reparavit domum quam 

locaverat Henrico Whytering' ad dampnum ipsius H. 

taxatum ad iij. d. 

******* 

Willelmus de Thame summonitus fuit ad respondendum 
Koberto le Charetere de placito quare injuste detinet com- 
muni vie xij. d. quos promisit ad dampnum vj. d. Et 



COURT OF THE BISHOP OF ELY AT LITTLEPORT. 130 

Littleport. Court there on Monday * the morrow of S. Mar- 
garet in the fourteenth year of King Edward the Second 
and the fourth of John of Hotham. 

If tf ^ ^ ^ Tf 

John Fox found pledges, to wit, Eobert Carter, Ealph 
Bolay, and Walter Albin, to return to the Master of the 
Hospital of S. John a book containing a martyrology, a 
manual, and a processionary before the next synod or the 
value thereof. 

******* 

John Gardhaut surrenders into the lord's hand a mes- 
suage taken from the lord's demesnes. And Katherine his 
daughter came and took the said messuage from the lord, to 
hold of the lord according to the custom of the manor by the 
customs etc., and gives the lord a fine of 2 s. for entry ; the 
Hayward is pledge. And the said Katherine granted to the 
said John her father the said messuage, to hold for the whole 
of his life by doing therefor during his life the customs to the 
lord, and after the death of the said John the said messuage 
shall remain to the said Katherine and her heirs etc. 

From Alice Balle (3 d.) for that she defamed the lord's 
corn whereby other purchasers forbore to buy the lord's 
corn, to the lord's damage. 



Littleport. Court there on Friday ^* next after the feast of 
S. Luke in the fourteenth year of King Edward the 
Second and the fifth of John of Hotham, Bishop of Ely. 

******* 

From Ealph Bolay for not repairing the house which he 
let to Henry Whitring to the damage of the said H. taxed 
at 3 d. (Amercement 3 d.) 

******* 

William of Thame was summoned to answer Eobert 
Carter why he unjustly detains from the common higlnvay 
12 d., which he promised, to [its] damage 6 d. And William 

• Monday, 2l8t July, 1320. " Friday, 24th Oct. 1320, 



131 



CURIA EPISCOPI ELIENSIS APUD LITTLEPOET. 



lex Y/illelmus elicit quod in nullo denario dicte vie promisit nee 

debet. Et ideo est ad legem, pleg' K. Bolay. 

******* 

mTiTiij. d. WillelixLUS le Huxtere cognovit se teneri communi vie 

in ij. s. quos curia etc. et dictus Willelmus in misericordia. 
Florencia le Berch' cognovit se teneri dicte vie in vj. d. 

muiiij.d. idgo leventur etc. et Florencia in misericordia.^ 



pre' est. 



mia iij. d. 



mia vj. d. 



[Jur' présentant] quod idem [Johannes] Porcarius liabet 
j. canem qui momordit unum cuniculum domini. ... Et 
quod quidam canis vicarii fug' sepius lepores in campo. . . . 
Et quod canis Johannis Manimester fugavit suem Johannis 
Albyn unde dicta sus amisit porcellos suos ad dampnum 
ipsius Johannis taxatum ad xviij. d. quos curia considérât 
etc. et dictus Johannes Manimester in misericordia. 



Littleport. Curia et Leta tente ibidem die Lune proxima 
post festum S. Lucie Virginis anno R. K,. E. xiiii°. 

Tfr -jf: Tp tT^ tFt ^ 

Compertum est per inquisicionem quod Eicardus Man- 

mTïï vj. d. teley implacitavit Willelmum le Meire in curia Abbatis de 

Kameseye apud Elm ad dampnum ipsius Willelmi taxatum 

ad xij. d. Ideo consideratum est quod dictus Willelmus 

recuperet etc. 

******* 

Compertum est per inquisicionem quod Galfridus 
Wheteryng fregit convencionem Eoberto Bolaye de xvj. s. 

mm vj. d. quos ei tradidisse debuit ad convertendum in mercimoniis ad 
dampnum ipsius Koberti taxatum ad v. s. Ideo con- 
sideratum est quod recuperet dictos v. s. et dictus Galfridus 
in misericordia etc. 

Compertum est per inquisicionem quod idem Kobertus 
tenetur eidem Galfrido in iiij. s. de denariis quos recepit ab 

iniiT iiij. d. eodem Galfrido ad mercimonium convertendum. Ideo etc. 
et dictus Eobertus in misericordia. 



' Several similar entries follow, ths sums due to the common way being 
very variouL^. 



COURT OF THE BISHOP OF ELY AT LITTLEPORT. 131 

says that he neither promised nor owes any penny to the 
said way. Therefore he is at his law ; pledge, E. Bolay. 

V Tl» H* ^ 1*^ IT* 

William Huckster confesses that he is bound to the 
common highway in 2 s., which the court [awards to be 
levied] and William in mercy (3d.). Florence Shepherd 
confesses that she is bound to the said highway in 6 d. ; 
therefore be it levied, and Florence in mercy (2d.). 

Tf! TF T^ ^ tF tV t1> 

[The jurors present] that the said John Swineherd has a 
dog which ate a rabbit of the lord. (Order is given.) .... 
And that a dog of the Vicar often chases hares in the field, 
(ximercement 3d.).... And that the dog of John Mani- 
mester chased a sow of John Albin, so that she lost her 
pigs, to his damage taxed at 18 d., which the court awards, 
etc., and John Manimester in mercy (6d.). 



Littleport. Court and Leet held there on Monday * next 
after the feast of S. Lucy in the fourteenth year of 
King Edward the Second. 

******* 

It is found by inquest that Eichard Maunteley impleaded 
William le Meire in the court of the Abbot of Eamsey at 
Elm, to his damage taxed at 12 d. Therefore it is consi- 
dered that William do recover etc. (and Kichard in mercy 
6d.). 

tF 7^ 7F ^ ^ TP ^ 

It is found by inquest that Geoffrey Whitring broke a 
covenant with Kobert Bolay touching 16 s. which he was to 
have delivered him to convert in merchandise, to Eobert's 
damage taxed at 5 s. Therefore it is considered that he re- 
cover the said 5 s. and Geoffrey in mercy (6 d.). 

It is found by inquest that the said Eobert is bound to 
the said Geoffrey in 4 s. for moneys received from the said 
Geoffrey to be converted in merchandise. Therefore etc., 
and Eobert in mercy (4 d.). 

• Monday, 15th Dec. 1320. 



132 CUELl EPISCOPI ELIENSIS APUD LITTLEPORT. 

[Juratores dicunt super sacramentum suum] quod 
Thomas Thame caj)ellanus non paravit porcionem suam 
super calcetum (de iiij.perticatis) ad nocumentum omnium 
ibidem transeuncium (ij. s.). Et quod Willelmus Hewen 
simihter {vj. d.), et quod Johannes Hareng j. rod. (iij. d.). 
. . . Fratres HospitaHs S. Johannis ij. pertic. (ij. s.). . . .^ 



Litelport. Curia ibidem die Martis in festo S. Dunstanl 
anno supradicto [anno R. R. E. fil. R. E. xiiii°]. 

******* 

Willelmus Michel queritur de Johanna Tepito quod ei 
injuste detinet xij. s. vj. d. pro una vacca et uno vitulo sibi 
venditis. Et predictus Johannes dicit quod ei debet iiij. s. 
et V. d. de predictis vacca et vitulo, et de vij. s. vij. d. dicit 
se solvisse creditoribus dicti Willelmi per preceptum curie 
que ei adjudicantur, et quo ad predictos vj. d. dicit quod in 
nullo denario ei tenetur de empcione predicta, et hoc pro- 
mis iij.d. bavit statim in curia per legem suam ex adversario suo 
concessam. Et ideo consideratum est quod predictus Wil- 
lelmus recuperet predictos quatuor sol. et quinque den. et 
dictus Johannes pro injusta detencione in misericordia. Et 
similiter predictus Willelmus pro falso clamore vj. d. m 

mE ij. d. misericordia. 

******* 

Compertum est per inquisicionem quod Johannes Beau- 
cosine injuste retinet garbas et avenam pertinentes Henrico 
Swetgrome de operibus que domino pro eo fecerat contra 
convencionem ad dampnum ipsius Henrici taxatum ad iiij. 
d, Ideo consideratum est quod recuperet etc. et dictus 
Johannes in misericordia. 

******* 

Willelmus Tame queritur de Willelmo Habot (iij. d.), 

Michaele Gigil (iij. d.), Johanne Boystons (iij. d.), Alano 

mi?xv. d. Eispiler (iij. d.) et Johanne Gigil (iij. d.) de placito quare 

' Various amercements are in- the amount of roadway varying from 
fiicted for non-repair of the roadway ; case to case. 



COUET OF THE EISIÎOP OF ELY AT LITTLEPORT. 132 

[The jurors say upon their oath] that Thomas Thame 
the chaplain has not repaired his portion on the road, to 
wit, 4 perches, to the nuisance of all that pass thereby 
(amercement 2 s.) ; and the like of William Hewen (6 d.) ; 
and the like of John Hareng as to 1 rod (3d.) . . . . and 
the like of the Brethren of the Hospital of S. John, 2 perches 
(2s.) .... 



Littleport. Court there on Tuesday * the feast of S. Dunstan 
[in the fourteenth year of King Edward the Second], 

VF^ A* vF V^ "Jfi Tt» 

William Michel complains of John Tepito that he un- 
justly detains from him 12 s. 6 d. for a cow and a calf sold 
to him. And the said John says that he owes him 4 s. 5 d. 
for the said cow and calf, and as to the 7 s. 7 d. he says 
that he paid it to creditors of the said William by command 
of the court : and this sum (of 7 s. 7 d.) is awarded him ; 
and as to the remaining 6 d. he says that he is bound in no 
penny of it on the aforesaid sale ; and this he at once 
proved in court by his law, which was conceded to him by 
his opponent [William]. And therefore it is considered 
that William do recover the 4 s. 5 d. and John be in mercy 
(3d.) for the wrongful detention, and likewise that William 
be in mercy (2 d.) for the false claim of 6 d. 

^ lit- Jill- sit- lié- ii£- 3ie- 

■7P "TF 7(c ^ ^ "jfr -jcr 

It is found by inquest that John Beucosin wrongfully 
detains sheaves and oats belonging to Henry Sweetgroom 
as for the work which he [Henry] did for him [John] to the 
lord, in breach of covenant, to the damage of Henry taxed 
at 4 d. Therefore it is considered that he recover etc., and 
John in mercy. 

******* 

William Thame complains of William Abbot (3d.), 
Michael Gigil (3d.), John Boystons (3d.), Alan Kushpiller 
(3 d.), and John Gigil (3 d.) in a plea wherefore they fished 

» Tuesday, 19th May, 1321. 



133 CUEIA EPISCOPI ELIENSIS APUD LITTLEPOET. 

iidem piscati fuerunt in separali piscaria sua ad dampnum 
snum viginti sol. et inde ducit sectam etc. 

Et predict! Willelmus Abot et alii veniunt et defendant 
etc. et bene advocant illam piscariam unde queritur esse 
communam et non separalem et hoc petunt quod inquiratur. 
Et predictus "Willelmus dicit quod ad inquisitionem admitti 
non debent eo quod ipse tenet dictam piscariam de domino 
per certum redditum per annum in separali et inde vocat 
recordum terrar'. Quo quidem terrar' inspecto testatur 
ij)sam piscariam esse separalem. Et ideo consideratur 
quod predictus Willelmus de Thame teneat examodo dictam 
piscariam separalem et similiter recuperet versus eos 
dampna sua que taxantur ad xxx. d., et predicti Willelmus 
Abot et alii in misericordia. Pleg' alter alterius. 



Litleport. Curia ibidem die Mercurii proxima post 
festum S. Luce Evangeliste anno R. R. E. fil. R. E. 
quintodecimo. 

vf* Ttr •?(? TfT 'Jf? ^ 

Compertum est per inquisicionem quod Eoesia Byndebcr 
mmiij.d. vocavit Eadulfum Bolay latronem et dictus Eadulfus dictam 
Eoesiam meretricem. Ideo uterque in misericordia. Et 
quia transgressio facta dicto Eadulfo excedit transgres- 
sionem factam dicte Eoesie ut compertum fuit ideo con- 
sideratur quod dictus Eadulfus recuperet de dicta Eoesia 
TSiij.d. xij. d. pro dampn' taxât'. 

******* 



Litleport. Curia et Leta ibidem in die Martis in festo 
Concepcionis B. Marie anno supradicto. 

Cum placitum motum fuerit inter Eoesia Bindeber 
tenentem et Eadulfum Bolay petentem de una dimidia acra 
jacente super Arnhille dicta Eoesia venit et dicit quod 
Walterus Bindeber quondam vir suus et ipsa dictam terram 



COURT OF THE BISHOP OF ELY AT LITTLEPORT. 133 

in his several fishery to his damage 20 s., and thereof he 
produces suit etc. 

And the said William Abbot and the others come and 
defend etc., and avow that the fishery whereof he complains 
is common and not several, and pray that this be inquired. 
And the said William [Thame] says that they should not be 
admitted to an inquest, for that he holds the said fishery of 
the lord by a certain yearly rent in several, and thereof he 
vouches the record of the terrier. And the terrier being 
inspected it is witnessed that the said fishery is several. 
Therefore it is considered that the said William of Thame 
do henceforth hold the said fishery in severalty and also do 
recover against them his damages which are taxed at 30 d. 
and the said William Abbott and the others be in mercy ; 
they mutually pledge each other. 



Littleport. Court there on Wednesday " next after the feast 
of S. Luke in the fifteenth year of King Edward 
the Second. 

******* 

It is found by inquest that Kohese Bindebere (3 d.) called 
Kalph Bolay thief and he (3 d.) called her whore. There- 
fore both in mercy. And for that the trespass done to the 
said Ealph exceeds the trespass done to the said Kohese, as 
has been found, therefore it is considered that the said Ealph 
do recover from the said Eohese 12 d. for his taxed damages. 



Littleport. Court and Leet there on Tuesday '' the feast of 
the Conception of B. Mary in the said year. 

Whereas a plea was moved between Eohese Bindebere 
tenant and Ealph Bolay demandant of one half-acre lying 
upon Arnhill, the said Eohese comes and says that Waiter 
Bindebere her late husband and she in the time of John 

• Wednesday, 21st Oct. 1321. ^ Tuesday, 8th Dec. 1321. 



134 GURIA EPISCOPI ELIENSIS APUD LITTLEPORT. 

tempore J. de Ketene tunc Eliensi Episcopo ^ emerunt et 
gersumaverimt de Eicardo de Tidd qui tunc presens fuit et 
hoc bene concedit,^ et inde vocat ad warantum rotulos 
ejusdem, qui hoc bene testantur. Et predictus Kadulfus 
dicit quod qualitercumque rotuH testantur contra ipsum 
dicit tamen quod ista dimidia acra nunquam fuit sursum 
reddita in curia, set quod tunc clericus istam dimidiam 
falso mutavit pro una alia dimidia acra ad instanciam dicti 
Walteri et hoc petit quod inquiratur per vicinos. Qui 
dicunt super sacramentum suum quod dictus Kicardus 
istam dimidiam acram sursum reddidit in curia set dicunt 
quod Adam de Tidd tunc tenens illius terre pater predicti 
Kicardi huic reddicioni noluit consentire propter quod 
videtur eis ut dicunt quod ista reddicio non deberet valere. 
Et querebatur tunc quem statum dictus Adam habuit in 
dicta terra, dicunt quod nisi ad terminum vite de hereditate 
predicti Kicardi et hoc per legem Anglie. Propter quod 
consider atum est quod predicta reddicio bona sit et predicta 
Koesia habeat predictam terram et predictus Eadulfus pro 
mmiij.d. falso clamore in misericordia.^ 

******* 

Elizabetha la Lange sursum reddit in manum domini 
unam porcionem unius cotagii continent' xx. pedes. Et 
venit Nicholaus Ixseninge et dictam porcionem cepit 
tenendam et habendam secundum consuetudinem manerii. 
Et dictus Nicholaus reddet annuatim dicte Elizabethe ad 
fin. xij. d. totam vitam suam xij. d. et dat domino pro ingressu 

habendo xij. d. 

******* 

[Juratores dicunt super sacramentum suum] quod 
Johanna filia Galfridi Witering est leprosa, ideo deponatur. 
Et quod Johannes Piscator levavit unam domum por- 
vj.d. corum in communa ad dampnum etc. 

* Bishop from 1310 to 1316. opinion about the custom. The 

^ This we translate as meaning question is whether a woman's heir 

that Eichard is present when Rohese can make a surrender while her hus- 

makes her claim, and assents to what band, the heir's father, is alive aud 

she says. in possession as tenant ' by the law 

' It will be observed that the of England,' i.e. as tenant by the 

court here overrules the jurors' curtesy 



COURT OF THE BISHOP OF ELY AT LITTLEPORT. 134 

of Keten, then Bishop of Ely, bought and made fine for 
the same from Kichard of Tidd, who is now present and 
grants that this was so, and of this she vouches to warrant 
the rolls of the said [bishop] ; which duly testify this. And 
the said Ralph says that no matter what the rolls may say 
against him, he none the less says that this half-acre was 
never surrendered in court, but that the clerk, who then was, 
falsely made mention of this half-acre instead of another 
at the instance of the said Walter ; and he craves that this 
be inquired of the neighbours. And they say upon their 
oath that the said Richard did surrender this half-acre in 
court, but they say that Adam of Tidd the father of Richard 
was the then tenant of the said land and would not consent 
to the surrender, wherefore it seems to them, as they say, 
that this surrender should be invalid. And it was then in- 
quired what estate the said Adam had in the said land ; and 
they say, only for the term of his life as tenant by the 
curtesy, the inheritance being Richard's. Wherefore it is 
considered that the said surrender is good and that the said 
Rohese do have the said land, and the said Ralph be in 
mercy (3d.) for his false claim. 

Elizabeth Lange surrenders into the lord's hand a por- 
tion of one cottage [tenement] containing 20 feet. And 
Nicholas of Exning came and took the said portion to have 
and to hold according to the custom of the manor. And 
the said Nicholas shall pay annually to the said Elizabeth 
during her whole life 12 d., and gives the lord 12 d. to have 
entry. 

[The jurors say upon their oath] that Joan daughter of 
Geoffrey Whitring is leprous. Therefore be she set apart. 

And that John Fisher built a pig-stye on the common 
to the damage etc. (Amerced 6 d.) 



135 CUKIA EPISCOPI ELIENSIS APUD LITTLEPORT. 

Et quod Eoesia Bindeber levavit unam latrinam ad 

vj-d- nocumentum Kadulfi Bolay. 

Et quod Stephanus atte Presthous posuit fimarium 

iij.d. suum in communa. 

******* 



Litleport. Curia ibidem die Jovis post festum S. 
Edmundi Regis anno S-. R. E. fll. R. E. xvi'^^. 

•SP vF -îÇf if: 71? Tp 

Johannes Sarle attachiatus fuit ad respondendum 

mm iij.d.: Johanni Tepito de placito quod reddat ei ij°^ iiij^ turbas, 

quarum predictus Johannes concedit ij™ ij^ quas etc. et pro 

detencione in misericordia, et quo ad residuum in nichil ei 

tenetur, et inde profert legem et postea condonatur. 

Eadulfus Aug attachiatus fuit ad respondendum Johanni 
Tepito de placito quare cepit corbellos suos et eos posuit in 
aqua sua ad dampnum etc. Et predictus Eadulfus venit 
et dicit quod nuUos corbellos suos cepit nisi in aqua sua 
propria et inde profert legem per plegium Messoris et 
Johannis Patrik' ad terciam manum. 

* * * * * * * 

Johannes Albyn de Litleport fecit finem cum domino 
pro omnibus operibus suis et arruris provenientibus de j. 
plena terra et de duabus dimidiis terris que tenet de bond' 
Opera arent' domiui, ita tameu quod ipse reddet omnem redditum suum 
assisum set non dabit gallinam nee erit in servicio domini, 
et pro ista arrentacione dat domino per annum xxx. s.^ 



Litleport. Curia ibidem die Lune proxima ante festum 
Conversionis S. Pauli anno supradicto. 

******* 

Johannes le Herde sursum reddit in manum domini 
unum mesuagium jacens inter mesuagium Stephani de 

' At this and the next court several similar commutations are effected. 



COUET OF THE BISHOP OF ELY AT LITTLEPOET. 135 

And that Kohese Bindebere built a privy to the nuisance 
of Ealph Bolay. (Amerced 6 d.) 

And that Stephen at the Priesthouse put his dung-heap 
on the common. (Amerced 3 d.) 



Littleport. Court there on Thursday* after the feast of S. 
Edmund King in the sixteenth year of King Edward 
the Second. 

******* 

John Sarle was attached to answer John Tepito of a 
plea that he do render him 2,400 turves, whereof the said 
John confesses 2,200 which [the court awards] etc., and be 
he in mercy (3 d.) for the detention ; and as to the residue, 
[he says that] in nought is he bound to him, and of this he 
proffers his law. Afterwards this is forborne. 

Ealph Anc was attached to answer John Tepito of a plea 
wherefore he took his baskets and put them in his water to 
the damage etc. And the said Ealph comes and says that 
he took no baskets of his save in his [Ealph's] own water 
and thereof proffers a law three-handed on the pledge of 
the Hayward and John Patrick. 

TP tF 7F tf W tF 

John Albin of Littleport made fine with the lord for all 
labour services and ploughings arising from one full-land 
and two half-lands which he holds of the bondage of the 
lord, so nevertheless that he is to pay all his [former] assize 
rent, but is not [any longer] to give a fowl nor be in the 
lord's service, and for this arrentation he gives the lord 30 
shillings a year. 



Littleport. Court there on Monday " next before the Con- 
version of S. Paul in the said year. 

******* 

John the Herd surrenders into the lord's hand a mes- 
suage lying between that of Stephen of Burwell on the 

» Thursday, 18th Nov. 1322. ^ Monday, 24th Jan. 1323. 



136 CURIA EPISCOPI ELIENSIS APUD LITTLEPORT. 

Burwelle ex parte australi et mesuagium Thome Curteys ex 
parte orientali, et continet in longitudine iiij^^v. pedes et in 
latitudine ad capud australe xlvj. pedes et ad caput boréale 
xxxj. pedes. Et veniunt Johannes Bulwarde et Mabilia 
uxor ejus et dictum tenementum ceperunt habendum et 
tenendum sibi et sequele sue secundum consuetudinem 
manerii, et si iidem Johannes Bulward et Mabillia uxor 
ejus obierint sine herede de corporibus eorum exeunte quod 
dictum tenementum revertatur heredibus dicti Johannis le 
Hirde faciendo finem cum domino qui pro tempore fuerit, 
et predicti Johannes le Hirde et Emma uxor ejus dictum 
tenementum ad totam vitam eorundem tenebunt. 



Litleport. Curia ibidem die Lune proxima post festum 
S. Johannis ante Portam Latinam anno E,. R. E. fll. 
R. E. xvii°. 

******* 

Compertum est per inquisicionem quod Kicardus Maun- 

miïïvj.d. tele et Matillis uxor ejus fecerunt transgressionem Johanni 

de Gunten' et Alicie uxori ejus imponendo eos vendere 

avenam et cervisiam per fais' mens' ad dampnum taxatum 

ad vj. d., quos etc., et pro transgressione in misericordia. 



Curia ibidem die Jovis in Vigilia Apostolorum Petri et 
Pauli anno supradicto. 

******* 

Compertum est per inquisicionem quod Johannes 
Curteys et Johannes Garhaut vituperaverunt lesch' Hugonis 
Belde in marisco per quod dictus Hugo amisit vendicionem 
dicte lesch' ad dampnum taxatum ad ij. sol. quos etc., et 

mmvj.d. pro transgressione in misericordia. 

******* 

Isabella Drury que tenuit iij. acras terre de bondagio 
cum uno mesuagio et une hulmo obiit. Et venit Hugo 



COURT OF THE BISHOP OF ELY AT LITTLEPORT. 13G 

south and that of Thomas Curteys on the east, which con- 
tains in length 85 feet and in width at the south end 46 feet 
and at the north end 31 feet. And John Bulward and 
Mabel his wife came and have taken the said tenement to 
hold to them and their sequela according to the custom of 
the manor, and if the said John Bulward and Mabel his 
wife shall die without an heir issuing from their bodies the 
said tenement shall revert to the heirs of the said John 
Herd, on making fine with the lord for the time being, and 
the said John Herd and Emma his wife shall hold the said 
tenement for the whole of their life. 



Littleport. Court there on Monday* next after Port 
Latin Day in the seventeenth year of King Edward 
the Second. 

It is found by inquest that Richard Maunteley and 
Matilda his wife committed a trespass against John of 
Gunton and Alice his wife by charging them with having 
sold oats and beer by false measure, to their damage taxed 
at 6 d., which etc. and be they in mercy (6d.) for the 
trespass. 



Court there on Thursday " the Vigil of SS. Peter and Paul 
in the said year. 

******* 

It is found by inquest that John Curteys and John 
Gardhaut have slandered the sedge of Hugh Beld in the 
fen, whereby the said Hugh has lost the sale of the said 
sedge to his damage taxed at 2 s., which etc., and for the 
trespass be they in mercy (6 d.). 

******* 

Isabella Drury who held three acres of land of the 
[lord's] bondage with one messuage and one holme has 

• Monday, 14th May, 1324. »> Thursday, 28th June, 1324. 

VOL. IV. R 



137 CURIA EPISCOPI ELIENSIS APUD LITTLEPORT. 

Belde tanquam custos Thome Whitring infra etatem exis- 
tentis et duas acras predicte terre cepit de domino ad opus 
dicti Thome tenendas (eidem Thome ^) et sequela sue 
secundum consuetudinem manerii, et dat domino pro 
ingressu. Et gersumma condonatur per senescallum. 
******* 

Compertum est per totum homagium quod Hugo Belde 
tunc prepositus fecit quoddam tassum frumenti super 
tassum melior' ordei in grangia domini per quod predictum 
tassum ordei non potuit eicere humores et erat putrefactum 
et minus conveniens ad fundendum inde brasiam suam, 
quarteria in predicto tasso Ix. et xj. quarteria ordei, ad 
dampnum domini. 



Curiam ibidem die Lune proxima ante festum S. Petri 
Advincula anno R. R. E. fll. R. E. xviii°. 

******* 

Eadulfus Bolay attachiatus fuit ad respondendum 
Thome Brokenhorn de placito quod reddat ei xiij. s. ij. d. 
ob. (j. domus per annum) et xxiiij. s. pro ealciatura sua et 
uxoris sue per xij. annos, videlicet quolibet anno ij. s. pro 
quadam convencione inter eos facta (de quadam domo) quos 
mià vj. d. ei injuste det' etc. 

Et idem Eadulfus venit et cognoscit (se teneri predicto) 
Thome amicabiliter ex assensu dicti Thome pro omnibus 
arr' tam redditus quam calciature in xxiiij. s. ij. d. ob., et 
sic concordati sunt, et predictus Eadulfus ponit se in mise- 
ricordiam. Et postea venit dictus Eadulfus et cognoscit se 
reddere de anno in annum ad totam vitam Agnetis quondam 
uxoris "Willelmi Brokenhorn patris tam pro redditu quo- 
rundam ^ domorum quam pro ealciatura supradicta. Et 
predictus Thomas venit in curiam et Alicia uxor dicti 
Thome et spontanea sua voluntate in curia coram senescallo 

' Hubytituted for sibi. '^ Sic. 



COURT OF THE BLSHOP OF ELY AT LITTLEPORT. 137 

died. And there came Hugh Belde as guardian of Thomas 
Whitring, who is within age, and took from the lord the 
two acres of the said land to the use of the said Thomas to 
hold to the said Thomas and his sequela according to the 
custom of the manor ; and he gives the lord for entry — the 
fine is forborne by the steward. 

tF ^ ^ Tp^ tF 7F T^ 

It is found by the whole homage that Hugh Belde whilst 
reeve made a stack of wheat on the top of the stack of best 
barley in the lord's barn, whereby the said stack of barley 
could not work off its humours and became rotten and less 
suitable for malting ; there were 71 quarters of barley in 
the said stack ; to the lord's damage. 



Court there on Monday* next before S. Peter at Chains 
in the eighteenth year of King Edward the Second. 

*u£, ^e. ^t, ^t. ^ ^ 

•7F Tl^ "7^ tP t^ 1^ 

Ralph Bolay was attached to answer Thomas Broken- 
horn of a plea that he do render him 13 s. 2 J d. [rent] of a 
house for a year and 24 s. for shoes for himself and his 
wife during twelve years, to wit, 2 s. for every year, by 
reason of a certain covenant made between them touching 
a certain house ; which moneys he unjustly detains from 
him etc. 

And the said Ralph comes and confesses in a friendly 
way and with the assent of the said Thomas that he is 
bound to the said Thomas for all the arrears of the said 
rent and shoeing in 24 s. 2^ d. and on these terms they 
make concord, and the said Ralph puts himself in mercy 
(6 d.). Afterwards comes the said Ralph and confesses that 
he will pay year by year during the life of Agnes formerly 
the wife of William Brokenhorn the father [of Thomas] both 
the rent of certain houses and for the said shoeing. And 
the said Thomas comes into court and so does Alice his wife, 
and she of her own free will in court before the steward 

• Monday, 30th July, 1324. 

V 2 



138 CURIA EPISCOPI ELIENSIS APUD LITTLEPORT. 

examinata absque cohercione ex assensu mariti sui et per 

^•^ licenciam domini remitt' et quietumclam' dicto Radulfo 

totum jus quod habet in dicto mesuagio ut in dotem ad 

totam vitam suam, et dat domino pro convencione irrotu- 

landa vj. d. pi' Rob' Cartere, Job' Typeto. 

******* 

Robertus le Cartere queritur de Radulfo Bolay et Tboma 
Tbame capellano, Johanne Albyn et Henrico Mortimere et 
Waltero Albyn de placito quare deforciant ei quandam 
peciam prati (continentem j. rodam prout jacet) jacentem 
ad capud terre sue quam adquisivit de Albino Anke. (Et 
predicti Radulfus Bolay et alii veniunt et offerunt ei inde 
legem suam. Et predictus Robertus concessit eis leg' etc. 
Dies datus est eis ad perfic' leg' ad proximam curiam etc.) 

Compertum est per inquisicionem quod Willelmus le 
Foulere de Marchford' fecit transgressionem Waltero Albyn 
et bona et catalla sua de assensu uxoris sue invito marito 
de domo sua asportavit diversis vicibus uxorem suam 
Bepissime decalcando ad dampnum ipsius Walteri xiij. s. 
iiij. d. Ideo preceptum est attachiare omnia bona et catalla 
sua ubicumque etc., et quod amoveatur de dicta villa, et 
mm iiij. d. pro transgressione in misericordia. 



Litleport. Curia ibidem die Jovis in fast. S. Luce Evan- 
geliste anno R. R. E. fill. R. E. xviii°. 

******* 

Compertum est per inquisicionem quod Johannes Mont- 
fort injuste det' Willelmo Abbot j. d. et pro detencione in 
mi^ ij. d. misericordia. 

Compertum est eciam quod Johannes Fox junior tra- 
didit Johanni Mounfort j"^ lesch' debilior' quam ipse emit 



COURT OF THE BISHOP OF ELY AT LITTLEPORT. 138 

after examination and without the coercion but with the 
assent of her husband and by the hcence of the lord remises 
and quitclaims to the said Ealph all right that she hath in 
the said messuage for her life in respect of dower and gives 
the lord 6 d. for having the covenant enrolled ; pledges, 
Eobert Carter, John Tepito. 

Robert Carter complains of Ralph Bolay, and Thomas 
Thame the chaplain, John Albin and Henry Mortimer 
and Walter Albin in a plea wherefore they deforce him a 
piece of meadow, containing 1 rood as it lies, lying at the 
head of his land, which he acquired from Albin Anke. And 
the said Ralph Bolay and the others come and offer him 
their law as to this. And he conceded them their law etc. 
A day is given them to make their law at the next court 
etc. 

It is found by an inquest that William Fowler of March- 
ford committed a trespass on Walter Albin and carried off 
his goods and chattels from his house on divers occasions 
against his will but with the consent of his wife, which 
consent he obtained by frequently kicking her, to the 
damage of the said Walter 13 s. 4 d. Therefore order is 
given to attach all his goods and chattels wheresoever [they 
be found] and that he be removed from the said vill, and 
be in mercy (4 d.) for the said trespass. 



Littleport. Court there on Thursday" the feast of S. 
Luke in the eighteenth year of King Edward the 
Second. 

******* 

It is found by inquest that John Mounfort unjustly 
detains from William Abbot Id.; be he in mercy (2d.) for 
the detention. 

It is also found that John Fox the younger delivered to 
John Mounfort 1,000 of sedge of worse quality than he 

• Thursday, 18th October, 1321. 



139 



CUKIA EPISCOPI ELIENSIS APUD LITTLEPOKT. 



de eo ad ad dampna xviij. d. quos etc. Et pro transgres- 

mm ij. d. sione in misericordia. 

Compertum est per inquisicionem quod Willelmus le 
Hucstere fregit convencionem Koberto le Cartere de j"' 
anguillarum quas emit de eo pro x. s. ad dampnum xij. d- 
Ideo consideratum est quod Kobertus recuperet predictos x. 

mmiij.d. g.^ et Willelmus in misericordia. Et predictus Robertus 
remittit dampna etc. Et predictus Willelmus solvit eidem 
xl. d. et preceptum est levare etc. dim. marc. etc. 



Coron' 
staiir' 



Custodes 
marisci et 
de warenna 
etc. 



Hugo Belde et Henricus le Fishere jurati ad supervi- 
dendum staur' domini et emp' et vend' et morinam ejusdem 
cum acciderit presentand' ac eciam defectus waynagii de 
curia in curiam presentandos. 

Johannes Maynimester, Johannes Lovering, Johannes 
Fox senior jurati ad supervidend' et presentand' de curia in 
curiam transgressores in marisco ut in fodiendo et falcando 
ac eciam transgressiones factas in warenna de volucribus et 
aliis bestiis warenne etc. 



f. vj. d. 



Litleport. Leta ibidem die Jovis in Vigilia S. Thome 
Apostoli anno R. E-. E. fil. R. E. xviii°. 

Inquis' liberorum. Radulfus Bolay ^ . . . . jur', qui 
dicunt super sacramentum suum quod quarterium melioris 
frumenti valuit ultimo die mercati vij. s. et quarterium 
mediocris frumenti vj. s. et quarterium debilis frumenti 
V. s. iiij. d. Ideo fiat inde examinacio secundum precium 
mediocris frumenti etc. Unde examinacione facta coram 
dictis xij. jur' secundum precium mediocris etc. compertum 
est per examinacionem quod — 

Elisota Jordan deficiebat in pondère panis de ob. integr' 
fi'umenti v. s. ij. d. Habeat judicium etc. Postea finem 
fecit pro vj. d. per plegium Thome Tame. 



' There are twelve names, few or 
none of which are the names of the 
ordinary jurors. The presentments, 



however, are of the kind usually 
made at the Icets. 



COURT OF THE BISHOP OF ELY AT LITTLEPOET. 139 

bought of him, to his damage 18 d., which etc. ; and for the 
trespass be he in mercy (2 d.). 

It is found by inquest that WilHam Huckster broke a 
covenant with Robert Carter touching 1,000 eels which he 
bought of him for 10 s. to his damage 12 d. Therefore it 
is considered that Robert do recover the said 10 s. and 
Wilham be in mercy (3 d.) ; and Robert remits the damages 
etc. And WilHam paid him 40 d. and order is given to levy 
the 6 s. 8 d. etc. 

******* 

Hugh Belde and Henry Fisher are sworn to survey the 
lord's stock and to present from court to court the sales and 
purchases and the [deaths by] murrain among the same 
when occasion for presentment shall arise, and also any 
deficiency in the wainage. 

John Manimester, John Lovering, and John Fox the 
elder are sworn to survey and to present from court to court 
trespassers in the fen, for instance by mowing and digging, 
and also trespasses in the warren touching the birds and 
beasts of the warren etc. 



Littleport. Leet there on Thursday" the Vigil of S. 
Thomas the Apostle in the eighteenth year of King 
Edward the Second. 

Inquest of free men. Ralph Bolay [and eleven others] 
are sworn and say upon their oaths that a quarter of best 
wheat sold on the last market day for 7 s. and a quarter of 
middling wheat for 6 s. and a quarter of poor wheat for 
5 s. 4 d. Therefore be there an examination [of the doings 
of the bakers] according to the price of middling wheat. 
And the examination being made before the said twelve 
jurors according to the price of middling wheat, it is found 
that — 

Elisota Jordan made deficiency of 5s. 2 d. weight in the 
half-penny loaf of whole wheat. Let her have judgment 
etc. Afterwards she made fine with 6 d. on the pledge of 
Thomas Thame. 

• Thursday, 20th December, 1324. 



f. V. s. 



Defectus 

decennari- 

orum 



xij. cap. pi. 

xij. d. 

xij. lib. ij. s 



140 CURIA EPISCOPI ELIENSIS APUD LITTLEPORT. 

Johannes le Hirde deficiebat de eodem pane viij. s. vj. 
d. Ideo subeat judicium etc. Postea dictus Johannes fecit 
finem pro v. s. per plegium Johannis Beaucosin. 

******* 

De Alano Brabazon quia non venit (iij. d.) De Hugone 
Belde capitali plegio quia non habet predictum Alanum 
(iij. d.).^ . . . De Hugone Belde ut Alanus Brabazoun 
amoveatur de decenna (ij.d.). De Johanne Typeto ut 
Willelmus Godescarte amoveatur (ij.d.). . . . De capi- 
talibus decennariis pro concelamento Thome le Gierke, item 
pro concelamento Eicardi de Tyd et pro concelamento 
Johannis Grille. Gompertum est quod Henricus filius 
Walteri etatis xvj. annorum est extra decennam et con- 
celatur per capitales plegios et per xij. liberos juratores. 
Ideo omnes in misericordia.^ 



mia iij. d. 



Litleport. Curia ibidem die Veneris proxima post festum 
S. Mathie Apostoli anno R. R. E. fil. R. E. xviii™°. 

'iff yF -^ ^ W tF yf^ 

Willelmus He wen et Mar gar' uxor ejus attachiati 
fuerunt ad respondendum Eoberto le Gartere de placito 
convencionis, et unde queritur quod cum tradidit predicte 
Margar' decem quarteria ordei ad fundendum bras' ad opus 
suum quod quidem bras' invent' est minus sufficiens, ad 
dampnum dicti Eoberti et contra convencionem etc. 

Et predicti Willelmus et Margar' dicunt quod nullam 
convencionem ei fregerunt sicut eis imponit, et hoc pet' 
quod inquiratur. Postea concordati sunt et predictus 
Willelmus ponit se in miser icordiam, et idem Willelmus 
cognovit se teneri predicto Eoberto in iiij. bus. bras'. 



Inquisicio capta super gestis et factis Johannis Beau- 
cosin Messoris racione officii sui versus dominum et vicinos 



' Many similar entries. 

^ This brings out the system of double presentment. 



COURT OF THE BISHOP OF ELY AT LITTLEPORT. 140 

John Herd made deficiency of 8 s. 6 d. weight in the 
like loaf. Let him undergo judgment etc. Afterwards he 
made fine with 5 s. ; pledge, John Beucosin. 

•flp tF tF ^ tF T^ yf 

Defaults of the tithingmen. From Alan Brabazon, for he 
has not come (3d.). From Hugh Belde, chief pledge, for 
not producing the said Alan (3d.). . . . From Hugh Belde 
(2 d.), that Alan Brabazon may be removed from his tithing. 
From John Tepito, that William Godescarte may be removed, 
2d.... From the chief pledges, for the concealment of 
Thomas the Clerk, also for the concealment of Eichard 
Tyd, and the concealment of John Grille. It is found that 
Henry Walter's son is of the age of sixteen years and not 
in tithing, and [this] is concealed by the chief pledges and 
by the twelve free jurors. Therefore all in mercy. (Twelve 
chief pledges, 12 d. ; twelve free men, 2 s.) 



Littleport. Court there on Friday next after the feast 
of S. Matthias in the eighteenth year of King Edward 
the Second. 

****** ifi 

William Hewen and Margery his wife were attached to 
answer Robert Carter of a plea of covenant, whereof he 
complains that whereas he delivered to the said Margery 
ten quarters of barley to be made into malt for his use, the 
said malt was found to be not sufficiently good, to his 
damage and against the covenant etc. 

And the said William and Margery say that they have 
broken no covenant with him as he alleges against them, 
and crave that this be inquired. Afterwards they make 
concord and the said William puts himself in mercy (3 d.) 
and confesses that he is bound to the said Robert in 4 

bushels of malt. 

******* 

An inquest taken as to the acts and behaviour of John 
Beucosin the hay ward in discharge of his duty towards the 

» Friday. Ibt March, 1325. 



141 CURIA EPISCOPI ELIENSIS APUD LITTLEPORT. 

suos per sacr amentum Hugonis Belde, Henrici le Fishere, 
Johannis Fox senioris, Johannis Fox junioris, Johannis le 
Fishere, Willelmi Hewen, Johannis Manimester, Michaelis 
Kygel, Johannis le Hirde, Thome Brokenhorn, Johannis 
Typeto, et Johannis Albyn. Qui dicunt super sacramentum 
suum quod dictus Johannes non gerit se versus dominum 
suum sicut facere debet nee custodit campos et prata 
domini sicut facere debet. Item dicunt quod dictus 
Johannes facit attach' super defendentes in placitis ad 
instanciam conquerencium neque capit de eis vad' neque 
pleg' de prosequendo querelas suas in decepcionem et 
fraudem curie domini. Item dicunt quod dictus Johannes 
cepit de Wiilelmo Abbot nativo domini duos sol. dicendo 
ipsum esse electum in obsequium Dom. Eegis versus partes 
Scocie et quod salvaret eum ne iret versus dictas partes pro 
denariis predictis, ubi dictus Willelmus nuncquam erat 
electus etc. Item dicunt quod dictus Johannes retinet 
penes se forisfacturas et attachiamenta facta pro execucione 
curie domini et eis utitur et vastat et expendit in dampnum 
et prejudicium domini et vicinorum, et sic fecit de quodam 
patello eneo capto nomine attachiamenti de Wiilelmo atte 
Whippe. Item dicunt quod dictus Johannes equitat et 
conculcat equos domini equitando versus Ely et alibi ubi 
inhibitum est quod nullus hoc faciat sine licencia senescalli 
et hoc pro proficuo domini. Ideo corpus dicti Johannis 
attachietur per seneschallum et amovetur ab officio mes- 
soris. Postea totum homagium manucepit (pro eodem 
Johanne) quod dictus Johannes satisfaciet domino pro 
transgressionibus predictis ad voluntatem domini vel 
quandocunque de hoc per senescallum fuerit allocutus etc. 

Totum homagium elegit Johannem Albyn in messorem 
loco Johannis Beaucosin. Et fecit sacramentum etc. 



COURT OF THE BISHOP OF ELY AT LITTLEPORT. 141 

lord and his neighbours by the oath of Hugh Beld, Henry 
Fisher, John Fox the elder, John Fox the younger, John 
Fisher, William Hewen, John Manimester, Michael Kiggel, 
John Herd, Thomas Brokenhorn, John Tepito, and John 
Albin, who say upon their oath that the said John does not 
behave himself towards his lord as he ought to do, nor 
guard the fields and meadows of the lord as he ought to do. 
Likewise they say that the said John makes attachments 
upon the defendants in pleas at the instance of the plaintiffs 
without taking from the latter gages or pledges to prosecute 
their plaints, to the deception and in fraud of the lord's 
court. Likewise they say that the said John took from 
William Abbot, the born bondman of the lord, two shillings, 
by saying that he was elected to serve the king in the parts 
of Scotland and that for the said sum he [John] would pro- 
tect him [William] against having to go to the parts afore- 
said, whereas the said William was never so elected etc. 
Likewise they say that the said John keeps to himself the 
forfeitures and amercements arising from the executions 
done by order of the lord's court, and makes use of and 
wastes and expends them to the damage and prejudice of 
the lord and the neighbours ; and thus did he concerning 
a brazen dish taken by way of attachment from William at 
Whippe. Likewise they say that he rides and hacks the 
lord's horses, riding to Ely and elsewhere, whereas it is 
enjoined that no one do this without the leave of the 
steward and to the profit of the lord. Therefore be the 
body of the said John attached by the steward and he is 
removed from the office of hayward. Afterwards the whole 
homage became manucaptors for the said John that he will 
satisfy the lord for the said trespasses at the will of the 
lord or whensoever he shall be required to answer for this 
by the steward etc. 

The whole homage has chosen John Albin to be hayward 
in lieu of John Beucosin. And he has taken the oath 
etc. 



142 CUKIA EPISCOPI ELIENSIS APUD LITTLEPORT. 

Litleport. Curia ibidem die Veneris proxima post Clausum 
Pasche anno supradicto. 

****** 111 

Cum ex consuetudine ville unusquisque falcans in com- 

muni marisco ad vendendum a festo S. Michaelis usque 

Hokeday totum quod falcatur debet esse forisfactum 

domino et forisfactura millene apprecietur ad ij. s. viij. d. 

for'iiij.s. ex antiquo consuetudine super qua cons' Johannes Beau- 

cosyn et Johannes Fox falcaverunt et falcari fecerunt 

j.™ ideo for' de ij. s. viij. d. domino. Et Willelmus Aker- 

man falc' v.'' ante dictum diem de Hokeday, ideo for' de 

xvj. d. domino. 

******* 

Eicardus de Mauntele sursum reddit in manum domini 
unum cotagium long' xj. ped', et lat' xxiiij. ped' ad opus 
Galfridi Whitring et Mabillie uxoris sue et Johannis iilii 
eorundem, ita quod unusquisque (dictorum Galfridi et 
Mabillie ') teneat ad terminum vite sue et quod Johannes 
filius eorum successive teneat dictum cotagium sibi et 
sequele sue et per servicium etc., qui veniunt et dictum 
cotagium ceperunt de domino tenendum secundum consue- 
fin.ij.s.vj.d. tudinem manerii, et dant domino pro ingressu, plegii define 

Eobertus Cartere et Johannes Albyn. 

******* 

Eobertus le Cartere et Johannes Typeto faciunt finem 
pro tota villata pro licencia habendi viam cum carettis suis 
super terram domini juxta cunicularium. Et dominus 
quietus est de transitu suo in omnibus. Per plegium pre- 
dictorum Eoberti et Johannis. 



Litleport. Curia ibidem die Jovis proxima post festum 
Nativitatis S. Johannis Baptiste anno R. R. E. xviii°. 
******* 

Inquisicio capta per sacramentum Johannis Typeto, 
Eadulfi Bolay, Henrici le Fishere, Johannis le Fishere, 

^ Interlined. 



COURT OF THE BISHOP OF ELY AT LITTLEPORT. 142 

Littleport. Court there on Friday ' next after the Close of 
Easter in the said year. 

******* 

Whereas by the custom of the vill every one who mows 
in the common fen for the purpose of sale between Michaelmas 
and Hokeday shall forfeit all that he mows to the lord, and 
the forfeiture of a thousand [of sedge] is by ancient custom 
appraised at 2 s. 8 d., and against this custom John Beucosin 
and John Fox have mowed and caused to be mown a thou- 
sand ; therefore they shall forfeit 2 s. 8 d. to the lord. And 
William Akerman has mowed five hundred before the said 
day, namely, Hokeday ; therefore he forfeits 1 s. 4 d. to the 

lord. 

******* 

Kichard of Maunteley surrenders into the lord's hand 
a cottage 11 feet long by 24 feet wide to the use of Geoffrey 
Whitring and Mabel his wife and John their son, so that 
each of them, Geoffrey and Mabel, shall hold for the term 
of his or her life and that John in succession shall hold the 
said cottage to him and his sequela, by the service etc. 
And they have come and taken the said cottage of the lord 
to hold according to the custom of the manor, and give to 
the lord (2 s. 6 d.) for entry ; pledges for the fine, Eobert 
Carter and John Albin. 

******* 

Robert Carter and John Tepito make fine for the whole 
township for licence to have a way for their carts over the 
lord's land by the coney warren. And this is satisfaction 
to the lord in all respects for their passing over the land ; 
on the pledge of the said Robert and John. 



Littleport. Court holden there on Thursday " next after the 
Nativity of S. John Baptist in the eighteenth year of 
King Edward. 

******* 

An inquest taken on the oaths of John Tepito, Ralph 
Bolay, Henry Fisher, John Fisher, Hugh Belde, John Fox 

» Friday, 19th April, 1325. *• Thursday, 27th June, 1325. 



143 CURLi EPISCOPI ELIENSIS APUD LITTLEPORT. 

Hugonis Belde, Johannis Fox senioris, Huberti Est, Ade 
Swetgrom, Henrici Swetgrom, Johannis Manimester, Hen- 
rici Mortimere, et Johannis Beaucosin super homagium ville 
de Litleport, videlicet, quern statum clamant in communa 
pertinente ad tenementa sua etc. Qui dicunt super sacra- 
mentum suum quod neque liberi homines neque nativi dicte 
ville possunt vendere neque cariare turbas vel roscum extra 
mariscum ville predicte nisi ad voluntatem domini. Item 
dicunt quod ex consuetudine et gracia domini speciali plenas 
terras tenentes et dimidias terras tenentes et tenentes sex 
acras terre et cotarii unusquisque eorum habebit in marisco 
vj.™ lesch' per annum. Item dicunt quod secundum anti- 
quam consuetudinem ville predicte nullus dabit pro fodia- 
cione mil' turb' nisi iiij. d. et pro siccitate j. d. ob. et pro cumu- 
lacione j. d. ob. Item dicunt quod extranei supervenientes 
et in villa morantes nichil habebunt nee percipient in 
marisco nisi ex gracia domini, et hoc propter operacionem 
suam in blad' et pratis domini tempore autumpnali. 



Litleport. Curia ibidem die Lune proxima post festum 
S. Mathei Apostoli anno R. R. E. fil. R. E. deeimo nono 
incipiente. 

******* 

Custodes del Bylawe ^ présentant quod Johannes le 
Hyrde (iij. d.) non messuit bladum domini tempestive post 
opera sibi imposita. Ideo in misericordia per plegium 
Koberti Scot. Et quod Johannes Lovering (ij. d.) fecit 
similiter ... et quod Henricus le Fishere (ij. d.) fecit 
dampnum cum j. porco, et quod Johannes Cristemasse 
(iiij. d.) fecit similiter cum ij. porcis ... et quod Johannes 
Mounfort (ij. d.) junior collegit fabas vicinorum ... et 
quod Johannes Boystons (iij. d.) fecit similiter . . . 

Nomina custodum de Bylawe, Johannes Tepito, 
Johannes Fox junior, Radulfus Bolay, Johannes Fox senior, 

' The custodians of the bylaw the last court but one to present 
seem to be tlie persons appointed at olïences committed in the fen. 



COURT OF THE BISHOP OF ELY AT LITTLEPORT. 143 

the elder, Hubert East, Adam Sweetgroom, Henry Sweet- 
groom, John Manimester, Henry Mortimer, and John Beu- 
cosin regarding the homage of the vill of Littleport, to wit, 
what estate they claim in the common pasture for their 
tenements etc. And they say upon their oath that neither 
the freemen nor the bondmen of the said vill can sell or 
carry turf or rushes out of the fen of the said vill save at 
the will of the lord. Also they say that by custom and by 
the special favour of the lord each of the holders of full- 
lands, half-lands, six-acre tenements and cottage tene- 
ments shall have in the fen 6,000 of sedge in the year. 
Also they say that according to the ancient custom of the 
said vill none shall pay more than 4d. for digging 1,000 of 
turfs and for drying it IJ d. and 1^ d. for piling it up. Also 
they say that strangers coming into the vill and residing 
there shall not have or take anything in the fen save by 
favour of the lord and in consideration of work done by 
them in the lord's crops and meadows in autumn. 



Littleport. Court there on Monday * next after the feast of 
S. Matthew in the beginning of the nineteenth year of 
King Edward the Second. 

# * * * # * # 

The keepers of the bylaw present that John the Herd 
did not reap the lord's corn promptly on being set to the 
work ; therefore in mercy (3 d.) ; pledge, Kobert Scot ; and 
that John Levering did likewise (2d.).... and that 
Henry Fisher (2d.) did damage with one pig and John 
Christmas (4 d.) did likewise with two pigs .... and that 
John Mounfort the younger (2 d.) gathered beans belonging 
to his neighbours .... and that John Boystons (3 d.) did 
the like. . . . 

Names of the keepers of the bylaw : — John Tepito, 
John Fox the younger, Ralph Bolay, John Fox the elder, 

• Monday, 23rd Sept. 1325. 



144 



CURIA EPISCOPI ELIENSIS APUD LITTLEPORT. 



Johannes Beaucosyn, Adam Swetegrom présentant supra- 

scripta. 

* * " * * * ♦ ♦ 

caiumpnia. Eogerus Kyng de Well' et Adam Bateman de eadem 

venerunt hie in curia et calumpniaverunt duas partes unius 
batelli inventi in possessione Willelmi de Tid et attachiati 
per constabularies pro suspicione latrocinii quousque aliquis 
fecerit calumpniam. Qui quidem Eogerus et Adam jurati 
et examinati super proprietate dicti batelli dicunt super 
sacramentum suum quod predictum batellum die attachia- 
menti per dictos constabularios facti fuit proprium catallum 
Rogeri, Ade, et cujusdam Rogeri Bol de Well' in communi 
et pro indiviso. Et quia talis caiumpnia non est acceptanda 
per legem in absencia illius cui in toto vel in parte pertinet 
proprietas, dictum est prefatis Rogero et Ade quod ipsi 
simul cum Rogero Bol veniant parati ad proximam curiam 
ad probandum dictum batellum etc. Et ut medio tempore 
possint de dicto batello habere proficuum invenerunt securi- 
tatem per plegium ^ ad habendum et 

reducendum dictum batellum et illud preposito manerii 
liberandum si quis infra annum et diem ab isto die posuerit 

xij d. clamium. Et pro dicta licencia dant domino xij. d. 



Litleport. Curia et Leta ibidem die Mercurii post festum 
S. Nicholai anno R. R. E. fil. R. E. decimo nono. 

♦ *♦**** 

Compertum est per inquisicionem quod Radulfus de 
miiiij.d. Bolay non warrantizavit quamdam piscariam Henrico le 
Shepherd ad dampnum taxatum ad ij. s. quos curia con- 
sidérât quod recuperet. 

Compertum est per inquisicionem quod Willelmus Ilger 

non cariavit d. lesch' per convencionem inter ipsum et Hen- 

ricum le Brewestere ad dampnum taxatum ad ij. sol.,^ quos 

miSiij.d. curia considérât quod recuperet, et pro trangressione in 

misericordia per pleg' ^ 



' A space is left for the names of the sureties. 

* ij. soL repeated. ^ No names of sureties. 



COURT OF THE BISHOP OF ELY AT LITTLEPORT. 144 

John Beucosin, Adam Sweetgroom present the things above 

written. 

******* 

Eoger King of Wells and Adam Bateman of the same 
place came here into com't and claimed two [third] parts of 
a boat fomid in the possession of William of Tyd and at- 
tached by the constables for suspicion of larceny until some 
one should claim it. And Eoger and Adam, being sworn 
and examined as to the property in the said boat, say upon 
their oath that the said boat on the day when it was attached 
by the said constables was the proper chattel of Eoger, 
Adam, and one Eoger Bole of Wells in common and in un- 
divided shares. And for that such a claim cannot be received 
by law in the absence of one to whom the property belongs 
in whole or in part, the said Eoger and Adam are told to 
come along with Eoger Bole to the next court prepared to 
prove the said boat [to be theirs]. And that in the mean- 
time they may make profit of the said boat they found se- 
curity on the pledge of to return and produce 
the said boat and deliver it to the reeve of the manor in 
case any within year and day from this day shall put in a 
claim. And for this licence they give the lord 12 d. 



liittleport. Court and Leet there on Wednesday ^ after the 
feast of S. Nicholas in the nineteenth year of King 
Edward the Second. 

vp "JT -TF TF tP 7F 

It is found by inquest that Ealph Bolay has not warranted 
a certain fishery to Henry Shepherd to his damage taxed 
at 2 d., which the court considers that he do recover. 
(Amercement 3 d.) 

It is found by inquest that William Ilger has not carried 
500 of sedge according to the covenant between him and 
Henry Brewster to his [Henry's] damage taxed at 2s., which 
the court considers that he do recover ; and be [William] 
in mercy (3 d.) for the trespass ; pledges 



« Wednesday, 11 Dec. 1325. 
VOL. IV. 



145 CUEIA EPISCOPI ELIENSIS APUD LITTLEPOKT. 

Capitales plegii ^ , . . présentant quod omnes pistores 
et braciatrices infrascripti fregerunt assisam. Quesiti de 
valore frumenti ultimo die mercati, dicunt super sacra- 
mentum suum quod quarterium melioris frumenti valuit 
ultimo die mercati v. s. et quarterium mediocris frumenti 
iiij. s. viij. d. et quarterium simplicioris frumenti iiij. s. vj. d. 
et quiaij. d. neque dant neque minuunt assisam panis, fiat 
examinatio panis secundum precium. Unde compertum 
est per examinacionem secundum presentacionem juratorum 
quod panis integr' de ob. Margarete Druri deficiebat de 

fin. xviij.d. recto pondère j. marc, pro quo defectu fecit finem per 
plegium Eoberti le Cartere. Panis integr' de ob. Salomonis 
Ilger deficiebat de recto pondère x. s. pro quo defectu fecit 

fin. ij. s. finem per plegium Eoberti le Cartere et Johannis Ilger. 
Panis integr' de ob. Agnetis filie Michaelis Kiggel deficiebat 
de recto pondère xx. d., et quia defectus in pondère non 

mia yj. d. excedit XXX. d. ideo amercietur . . . 

******* 

Capita[les plegii pre^] sentant quod cum ex consuetudine 
ville unusquisque tenens plenam terram vel libère tenens 
quantitatem ejusdem plene terre debet falcare in marisco 
pro sua sustentacione ad quantitatem sex mille de lesch' 
ita quod neque liberi neque nativi possunt nee debent inde 
dare seu vend ere sine licencia domini optenta vel fine 
domino faciendo, et si quis liber ville seu nativus ultra 
certum numerum statut um falcaverit, dabit pro mille 
domino et hominibus ville pro opere ecclesie ut dicunt ex 
consuetudine xxxij. d. pro equali porcione. Et quia liberi 
nee nativi aliquid factum spéciale habent de domino nee 
per recordum ostendunt quod ilia consuetudo quam os- 
tendunt eis allocari debet, ideo tota lesch' ultra certum 
numerum prestatutum falcata et inferius presentata re- 
maneat penitus domino forisfacta quousque etc. Unde 
idem capitales plegii présentant quod Henricus Swetegrom 

• Twelve names follow, being those of the ordinary jurors. 
2 The roll is torn. 



COUET OF THE BISHOP OF ELY AT LITTLEPORT. 145 

The chief pledges [twelve men named] present that all 
the bakers and alewives named below have broken the assize. 
Asked concerning the value of wheat on the last market 
day, they say upon their oath that the quarter of good wheat 
sold for 5 s., of middling wheat for 4 s. 8 d., of poor wheat 
for 4 s. 6 d., and for that a difference of 2 d. in the price of 
wheat will make no difference in the weight of bread accord - 
to the assize, let examination be made according to the price 
[last mentioned]. And it appears on examination according 
to the presentment of the jurors that the whole wheat half- 
penny loaf of Margaret Drury w^as one mark short of the 
right weight ; she made fine (18 d.) for the deficiency; pledge, 
Eobert Carter. The whole wheat halfpenny loaf of Solomon 
Ilger was 10 s. short of right weight ; he made fine (2 s.) 
for the deficiency ; pledges, Eobert Carter and John Ilger. 
The whole wheat halfpenny loaf of Agnes daughter of 
Michael Kiggel was 20 d. short of right weight and since 
the deficiency does not exceed 30 d., let her be [not fined 
but] amerced (6 d.). . . . 

******* 

The chief pledges present that, whereas by the custom 
of the vill every tenant of a full-land and every freeholder 
holding as much as a full-land may mow in the fen for his 
sustenance to the amount of 6,000 of sedge, but so never- 
theless that neither free nor bond can nor ought to give or 
sell of this without first obtaining the lord's leave or making 
fine to the lord, and if any free or bond man of the vill 
shall mow beyond this fixed and established number he shall 
give for each thousand 32 d. to the lord and to the men of 
the vill for the repair of the church, so they say, in equal 
portions [i.e. one such portion to the lord, one to the men]. 
And for that neither free nor bond have any specialty 
from the lord, nor show any record by reason whereof the 
custom which they allege ought to be allowed them, therefore 
all the sedge which has been mown beyond the fixed and 
established quantity and which [superfluous amount] is pre- 
sented below, shall remain to the lord as forfeited until etc. 
And in this respect the chief pledges present that Henry 



146 CURIA EPISCOPI ELIENSIS APUD LITTLEPORT. 

falcavit et scindidit iij. millia de lesch' ultra certum nu- 
merum prestatutum, ideo precium dicte lesch' videlicet 
viij. s. remaneat domino forisfacta.^ 



Litleport. Curia ibidem die Jovis proxima post festum 
S. Bartholomei Apostoli anno R. R. E. fil. R. E. 
vieesimo incipiente. 

^ ^ Tf: yp ^ Tp fp 

Hugo Belde, Johannes Beaucosyn, Johannes Fox junior, 

Custodes Henricus Piscator custodes bileg' présentant quod Kadulfus 

^Yl Bolay fecit defaltam in messione dim. acre ordei ad 

iij. d. dampnum. Ideo ipse in misericordia. Et quod Johannes 

Fox junior non ligavit tempestive j. rodam ordei. ... Et 

quod Mabilia Beucosyn absentavit se in autumpno et 

ij.d. noluit metere bladum domini nee vicinorum pro stipendie 

suo set devillavit contra ordinacionem bilegis. ... Et quod 

yj.d. Amicia Hubert fecit leyrwite cum quodam extraneo . . . 



liitleport. Curia ibidem die Lune in crastino S. Andrea 
Apostoli anno R. R. E. fll. R. E. vieesimo. 

******* 

[Jur' présentant ^] quod extranei adventicii qui man- 
siones suas conducant de variis et nichil tenent de domino 
underseties communicaut in marisco cum bestiis suis et alia proficua 
capiunt in communa, et illi vocantur Underseties. Quesiti 
quo waranto utuntur ilia communa, dicunt quod quilibet 
undersetle metet dim. acram bladi in autumpno et ligabit 
et siccabit sine cibo sicut quilibet Anelepyman et Anelepy- 
wymman, et hoc per terrarium. Et quia nichil aliud 
ostendunt quare illi underseties debent cum averiis suis 
communicare nisi quod predictum servicium faciunt domino, 



* Many other similar presentments are made, with a like result. 
2 The usual leet jurors. 



COURT OF THE BISHOP OF ELY AT LITTLEPORT. 146 

Sweetgroom has mown and cut 3,000 of sedge beyond the 
appointed quantity ; therefore the price of the said sedge, 
to wit, 8 s. shall remain to the lord as forfeited. 



Littleport. Court there on Thursday" next after the feast 
of S. Bartholomew at the beginning of the twentieth 
year of King Edward the Second. 

TF ^ 7F ffr -jp Ttr 

Hugh Belde, John Beucosin, John Fox the younger, 
Henry Fisher keepers of the bylaw present that Kalph 
Bolay has made default in reaping half an acre of barley, 
to [the lord's] damage ; therefore be he in mercy (6d.). And 
that John Fox the younger (3 d.) was behindhand in bind- 
ing a rood of barley. . . . And that Mabel Beucosin (2 d.) 
absented herself from the harvest and would not reap the 
corn of her lord and her neighbours for her wa.ges, but 

quitted the vill, against the ordinance of the bylaw 

And that Amice Hubert (6 d.) incurred a leyrwite with a 
certain stranger. . . . 



Littleport. Court there on Monday" the morrow of S. 
Andrew in the twentieth year of King Edward the 
Second. 



[The jurors present] that strangers coming from without, 
who hire houses from divers persons and hold nothing of 
the lord, common in the fen with their beasts and take other 
profits in the common, and such folk are called ' Under- 
settles.' Being asked by what warrant they use such 
common, they [the jurors] say that every under settle shall 
mow half an acre of corn in the autumn and bind and dry 
it without [receiving] food [from the lord], like every 
* anelepyman ' and ' anelepywymman,' and this is so in the 
terrier. And for that they show nothing why these under- 
settles should common with their beasts save the fact that 
they do this service to the lord, nor is this right of common 

» Thursday, 28th Aug. 1326. " Monday, 1st Dec. 132G. 



7. a. 



147 CURIA EPISCOPI ELIENSIS APUD LITTLEPOET. 

et nec in terrario specificatur illiid jus communicandi, 
dictum est eisdem quod présentant ^ nomina illorum under- 
setles qui cum averiis suis communicant et que et quot 
averia qiiilihet habet ut possunt agistari ad proficuum 
domini quousque inde fuerit provisum per consilium etc. 
Qui présentant quod Eeginaldus "VVhitryng habet j. boviculum 
in communa ^ . . . 

^ ^ ^ IF ^ ^ ^ 



Litleport. Curia ibidem die Mercurii proxima post festum 
S. Laurencii anno R. E. tercii post conquestum primo. 

TF ^ ^ TF vfT "Jfr 

Robertus le Cartere, Johannes Tepeto, Johannes le 
Hyrde, Walterus Albyn, Galfridus Whytryng, Thomas 
Curteys et Mabilia que fuit uxor ... le Cartere et 
Willelmus Akerman tenentes terrarum et tenementorum 
xi. d. que fuerunt Henrici Whytryng dant domino xl. d. pro 

diïrotiufs"' quadam inquisicione ex officio capienda si vidue debent 
dotari de terris et tenementis venditis et alienatis per viros 
suos dum vixerint que quidem terre et tenementa sunt de 
hereditate seu de perquisito ipsorum virorum, licet mulieres 
ille in vita ipsorum virorum suorum ad vendicionem non 
consenserint. Unde capta est inde inquisicio per xxiiij. 
homines de bondagio qui nullas terras nec tenementa 
tenent qui fuerunt Henrici Whytryng et unde judicium 
. . ^ pendet indiscuss'. 



• Sic. that they may have been super illam 

2 Two other persons are in like consuetudinem. In the margin also 

case. there is an illegible remark. It 

^ These words are very faint and seems to have recorded a payment 

uncertain. pro q_uerendis rotulis curie. 

^ Three illegible words. I think 



curie 



COURT OF THE BISHOP OF ELY AT LITTLEPORT. 147 

specified in the terrier, they [the jurors] are bidden to pre- 
sent the names of the undersettles who thus common with 
their beasts, and how many beasts and of what kind each 
of them has, in order that they may be agisted to the profit 
of the lord, until [other] provision be made by the council 
of [the lord bishop]. And they present that Eeginald 
Whitring (5 d.) has one bullock in the common . . . 



Littleport. Court there on Wednesday ^ next after the feast 
of S. Laurence in the first year of King Edward the 
Third. 

*\U. tJL ^e, ^£, ^£, v]A 

7F Tff TF TT^ 7t» "Tf* 

Eobert Carter, John Tepito, John Herd, Walter Albin, 
Geoffrey Whitring, Thomas Curteys and Mabel who was the 
wife of ... . Carter and William Akerman, tenants of the 
lands and tenements formerly of Henry Whitring give the 
lord 40 d. for an inquest of office as to whether widows ought 
to be endowed of lands and tenements alienated or sold by 
their husbands in their lifetime, such lands and tenements 
being of the inheritance or the purchase of their said hus- 
bands, in case the said women did not in their husband's 
lifetime consent to the said sale. And of this an inquest 
is taken of twenty- four men of the bondage, none of whom 
holds any part of the lands or tenements which belonged to 
Henry Whitring. Judgment [as to this custom] is sus- 
pended [while search is made in the court rolls]. 



Wednesday, 12th Aug. 1327. 



LIST OF WOEDS 

WHICH ARE DUBIOUS, COERUPT, OR OTHERWISE 
REMARKABLE.^ 



anelepyman, anelepywyman, pp. 
112, 146, Eng, a man or ivotnan 
who is sole, who is uninat^ncd ; 
one ivho is not a Iwuseholcler. 

bersil, berkyl, p, 23, Fr. yeast. 
botus, p. 126, Lat. a bittern. 

currour, p. 96, Fr. a vagabond. 

daunmçstre, p, 62, Fr. ; probably 

corrupt, and unexplained. 
desavolupeer, p. 91, Fr. to excuse 

oneself, to free oneself from a 

charge. 
devillare, p. 146, Lat. to leave the 

rill. 
ditee, p, 95, Fr. ; probably corrupt ; 

possibly the name of some beast 

of the chase. 

fosse, p. 95, Fr. for fesse, a sheaf. 

Du Cange, s.v. fascia, fessa, fessel, 

etc. 
furent, p. 95, Fr. iov furet, a ferret. 



g-alesche, galoche, p. 35, Fr. an 
arrow of a certain kind. 

heche, p. 95, Fr. a salmoyi heck. 

malfe, maufe, p. 64, Fr. the devil. 

puner, p. 103, Fr. an instrument of 
correction known as a inning- 
stool. 

reforayne, p. 95, Fr. oive reforayne, 

a wild-goose or water-goose. 
roket, p. 115, a bodice. 
rother, p. 115, unexplained. 

taverner, p. 102, Fr. to let, to demise. 
treytorie, p. 94, Fr. katil imr trey- 
tor ie, wearing apparel. 

undersettle, p. 146, Eng. an under 
tenant. 

wapie, p. 25, Fr. cerveyse ivapie, flat 
beer. 



This is rather a list of guesses and unsolved dilHculties than a glossary. 



INDEX OF MATTERS. 



Abjuration of realm, 74 

Abjuration of vill, 98 

Accessory, 67 

Admittance, 112, 122, 130, 136, 142 

Affeerers, 101, 106 

Aid of lord, 127 

Ale, see Beer 

Aletaster, 25 

Amendment, 70 

Amercement, 22, 42, 54, 101, 106, 

110 
• Anelipiman,' 112, 146 
Annuity, 82 
Appeal, 65, 66, 85 
Articles, Manorial, 102 
Articles of Frankpledge, 71, 87, 93 
Assault, 27, 28, 29, 30, 51 
Assize of beer, 25, 50, 73, 80 
Assize of bread, 23, 50, 58, 73, 80, 

139, 145 
Assize of strangers, 94, 99 
Attachment, 79 
Attorney, 80 



Bailiff, 20, 23, 25 etc., 30, 49, 58, 61 

70, 77, 79 
Banishment from vill, 122, 123, 124 
Bargain. Tort by disturbing, 40, 56 
Battery, 27, 28, 29, 30 
Battle, 77 
Beadle, 93 

Beasts impounded, 57, 60 
Beasts, trespass by, 42, 57, 58, 60 
Beer, see Assize of beer 
Beer, bad, 25 

Beer, duty of selhng to lord, 31, 52 
Beheading, 99 



Bench, justices of, 68, 69 
Besant of gold, 32, 57 
Borough, 80 

Boundaries, disturbance of, 45, 86 
Bread, see Assize of bread 
Bylaw, 23, 61, 125, 128, 129 
Bylaw, keepers of, 143 



Carpenter, Eobert, 7 

Challenge, 63 

Champion, 77 

Charter, royal, 35 

Cherwell, 73 

Chief pledge, 77, 110 

Church, repair of, 145 

Circuit of steward, 69, 70 

Clergy, benefit of, 91 

Command, responsibility for offence 

committed by one's, 38, 39 
Common pasture, 41 
Common rights, 112, 125, 145, 146 
Compromise, 21, 22, 57, 61, 75, 79 
Concealment, 30 
Confession, 22, 50, 53 
Confession and avoidance, 21, 45 

46,91 
Confession extorted, 63 
Consideration, 47 
Contempt, 127 
Contenement, 101 
Contract, 40, 115, 124, 125, 132, 137, 

144 
Conveyancing precedents, 7, 12, 14 
Copyhold, 112, 121, 134, 147 
Coroner, 90 

Corrupt victuals, 26, 50, 51 
County court, 68, 69, 80, 85 



1^2 



THE COUET BARON. 



Court, usage of the, 42 Franchise, 23, 35, 52, 69 

Court, words of, 86 Frankpledge, 68, 72, 76, 80, 97, 101, 

Courts, classification of, 86, 87 140 

Covenant, 115, 124, 125, 133, 137, Frankpledge, view of, 68, 71, 87, 93 

144 Fraud, 33, 40 

Criminal eases, 62, 64, 65, 66, 73, Free suitors, 97, 100 



74, 85, 86, 99 
Crown, pleas of, 62, 64, 65, 66 
Crusade, 82 
Curtesy, 134 

Custom, 33, 68, 134, 142, 145, 147 
Custom, unreasonable, 144, 146 



Damage, 20, 22 etc., 41 

Death, punishment of, 64, 74, 90 

Debt, 47, 84, 126, 129, 131 

Defamation, see Slander 

Default of right, 69 

Defence, 21, 41, 44, 48, 75, 76 

Detinue, 47, 135 

Devil, enticement of, 63 

Distress, 59, 60 

Dower, 147 



Ecclesiastical jurisdiction, 102 
Employer's liability, 55 
Entail, 136 
Entry, writ of, 119 
Escape, 74 



Freebench, 147 
Fruit, stealing, 36, 53 



Gage and pledge, 17, 32 

Gage of movables and immovables, 

32, 33 
Garden, trespass in, 36 
Gleaning, 128 
Glove given as gage, 17 
Grass, offence of mowing, 39 
Guardian, 138 



Hamsoken, 129 

Handhaving thief, 65, 74, 99 

Hand-mill, 123 

Hayward, 41, 42, 76, 103, 128 

Heirs of body, 136 

Heriofc, 104 

Herring, 26 

Highway, repair of, 130, 131, 132 

Homage, 78 

Honour, 70 

Honourial court, 110, 119 



Essoin, 49, 50, 58, 74, 80, 81, 96, Housebote, 102 

101 Hue and cry, 20, 49, 50, 73, 98 

Ex officio proceedings by steward, 49 Hundred, court of, 68, 70, 80 

Husband and wife, 126, 138, 147 

Father's liability, 36, 37, 53 

Fealty, 104 

Felony, 27, 28, 33, 65, 66, 85 • HI fame, 64 

Fish, offence of selling putrid, 26, Imprisonment, 62, 65, 99 

50, 51 Infangthief, 73, 74, 99 

Fish, offence of taking from pond, Infant, offences by, 36, 53 



37, 54, 75 
Fishery, several, 133 
Fishing, rights of, 73 
Foreign court, offence of sueing in, 

120, 126, 131 
Forester, 43, 44 
Forfeiture of land, 100 
Forfeiture, the king's, 35, 52 
Fornication, 102 



Infant tenant, 137 

Judgement, engagement to obey, 

32, 33 
Judgement found by suitors, 48 
Jury of presentment, 83, 93, 110 
Jury of trial, 24, 32, 38, 51, 64, 66, 

134 
Jury of twenty-four, 147 



INDEX OF MATTERS. 



153 



Jury of vill, 24, 32, 38 

Jury, purchase of right to have, 32, 

38, 44 
Jury, refusal to be tried by, 63, 64 

Labour services, 135 

Land, customary, inheritance of, 
108, 119, 136, 137 

Land, customary, proceedings rela- 
ting to, 102, 104, 112, 119, 120, 
121, 127, 130, 134, 136, 142, 147 

Land, freehold, proceedings relating 
to, 77, 103 

Larceny, 62, 64, 65, 74 

Law merchant, 12 

Law, wager of, 16, 21, 26, 27 etc., 
35, 50, 57, 74, 76, 83, 123, 132 

Lawlessman, 27, 28, 29, 48 

Leet, 110, 123, 133, 139 

Leper, 111, 134 

Longueville, John of, 14 

Love-day, 20, 47, 57, 74 

Mainpast, 37, 53, 55, 127 
Mayhem, 85, 86 
Measures, 94 
Merchet, 102, 110 
Mill, lord's, 33, 52, 123 
Montpellier, pilgrimage to, 82 
Money, coining, 99 
Multure, 33, 52 
Murrain, 139 
Mute, standing, 65 

Negligence, 52, 53 
Neighbourly duties, 146 



Parol agreement, 116 

Peace of God, 20, 27 etc., 75 

Peace of king, 62, 75 

Peace of lord, 20, 23 etc., Sa 

Peace of sheriff, 83 

Peace of steward, 20, 23 etc. 

Pig, shooting a, 46, 56 

Pinfold, 57 

Plea, special, 21, 23, 44, 91 

Pleader, 38, 42 

Pleadings, principles of, 21, 23, 41, 

42, 48, 84, 91 
Pledge, sale of, 125 
Poaching, 34, 52 
Pone, 69 
Pound, 57, 60 

Precept for holding court, 70 
Pre-emption, lord's right of, 31, 52 
Prescription for profit a prendre, 44 
Presentment, procedure by double, 

97, 139 
Principle and accessory, 67 
Prohibition issued by lord, 38, 39, 43, 

55, 58 
Purpresture, 98 



Rate, highway, 130, 131 

Receipt of criminal, 66, 67 

Reeve, 103, 105, 141 

Reeve, duty of serving as, 104, 128, 

141 
Releass, 22 
Rescue, 96 
Remainder, 130 
Reversion, 122 
Rolls of court, 49, 58, 69, 121, 134, 

147 



Oath, forms of, 76, 93, 101, 104 

Odium et atia, 90 

Officers, manorial, misconduct 

30, 103, 105, 141 
Outlawry, 86 
Oxford, John of, 11, 13 
Oxford, law studies at, 12 

Park, 34, 52 
Parker, 34, 103 



of, 



Sale of chattels, 40, 128, 132, 188 

Seisin of a profit, 44, 45 

Seisin of stolen goods, 65, 74 

Sentence of death, 64 

Sequela, 112, 122, 136, 137, 142 

Serjeant, 46 

Set-off, 133 

Shame and damage, 20, 23 etc., 32, 

40,75 
Sheriff, 68, 90 



154 



THE COUET BAEON. 



Slander, 27, 28, 30, 40, 48, 57, 61, 

116, 125, 127, 133, 136 
Soldiers impressed, 141 
Specialty, 47, 145 
Specific performance, 115 
Spy, 27 
Steward, 20, 22, 38, 42, 48, 49, 58, 

62, 68, 79, 93, 141 
Steward, letters appointing, 71 
Sticks, right to cut, 44 
Strangers, 94 

Stubble, offence of reaping lord's, 38 
Suit of court, 72 
Suit, denial against, 41, 42, 48, 75, 

84 
Suit, production of, 20, 23 etc., 41, 

42, 48, 75, 84 
Suitors as judges, 48 
Supplanting a man in his bargain, 

40, 56 
Surrender, 122, 130, 134, 136, 142 
Suspicious characters, 94 
Swineherd, 46 



Threats, 27, 28 

Timber, right to cut, 43, 56, 102 
Time, specification of in pleading, 84 
Tithing, 69, 72, 97, 140 
Tithingman, 80, 99, 140 
Title of court, 71, 80 
Toll, subtraction of, 33, 40 
Township, damaged, 23, 26 
Township receives proceeds of just- 
ice, 145 
Township, jury of, 24 
Township, offences by, 120 
Treasure trove, 95 



Trespass, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 36, 38, 

74, 75, 97 
Tumbrel, 100 



' Undersettle,' 112, 146 
Unreason, tort and, 25, 28 etc. 
Usury, 87, 95 



View of land, 62 

View of wound, 86 

Vill, see Township 

Villain status, 102, 110 

Villain tenure, 102 {see also Land, 

customary) 
Villains as affeerers, 101 
Villains as jurors, 105, 147 
Villains as presenters, 97, 110 
Villain words, 27, 28, 29, 30 



Waif, 144 

Wara, 108 

Warranty of essoin, 50, 58, 85 

Warranty on sale of chattels, 128, 

138 
Warren, 35, 52 

Whole lands and half lands, 108 
Witness, 77 
Writ of entry, 112 
Writ of right, 77 
Writ from lord, 111 
Writ, procedure by, 69, 77 
Written proceedings, 49, 58, 96 



Year and day, 144 



INDEX OP PERSONS 

MENTIONED IN THE EXTEACTS FEOM THE EOLLS OF THE 
MANOE OF LITTLEPOET, CO. CAMBEIDGE. 



Abbot, Abot, Habot 

Agnes, 122 

Henricus, 108 

Thomas, 121 

Willelmus, 132, 133, 138, 141 
Akerman, Willelmus, 142, 147 
Albin prepositus, 120 
Albin, Albyn 

J., 115 

Johannes, 135, 138, 141 bis, 142 

Walterus, 130, 138 bis, 147 
Albinus Anke, 138 
Aldere, Alexander de, 108 
Alicia vidua, 108 
Alrehee, Alexander de, 108 
Ane, Kadulfus, 135 
Ancre, Agnes, 121 
Anke, Albinus, 138 
Augustinus, 108 
Auke, Kicardus, 124 
Azo Messor, 108 



Balle, Alicia, 130 

Kobertus filius Osberti, 108 

Osbertus, 108 
Balsham, Hugo de. Bishop of Ely, 

119 
Bantelig, Johannes, 129 bis 
Bateman, Adam, 144 
Beaucosin, Beucosin 

Henricus, 122 

Johannes, 132, 140 bis, 141, 142, 
143, 144, 14G 



Beaucosin, Mabilia, 146 

Oliverus, 114, 124, 128 
Belde, Hugo, 136, 137 bis, 139, 140 

bis, 141, 143, 146 
Bercarius, Henricus, 126, 127, 128, 
129 

Eadulfus, 129 
Bercher, Florencia le, 131 

Johannes le, 126 
Beystens, Boystons, Johannes, 122, 

124, 132, 143 
Bindebere, Byndeber 

Eoesia, 129, 133 bis, 135 

Walterus, 122, 133 
Bol, Eogerus, 144 
Bolay, E., 129, 131 

Eadulfus, 127, 129, 130 bis, 133 
bis, 135, 137, 138, 139, 142, 143, 
144, 146 

Eobertus, 127, 131 
Bolewere, Johannes le, 129 
Brabazon, Alanus, 140 bis 
Bretoun, Simon, 124, 125 

Margeria uxor ejus, 126 
Brewestere, Henricus le, 144 
Brid, Eeginaldus, 120 
Brodbak, Arnoldus, 108 

Emma que fuit uxor Gilberti, 108 

Thomas, 108 
Brokenhorn, Brockhorn, Brokehorn 

Agnes quondam uxor Willelmi, 137 

Johannes, 125 

Petrus, 108 

Eadulfus, 120 



156 



THE COÛRt BARON. 



Brokenhorn, Brockhorn, Brokehorn 

Eicardus, 108 

Thomas, 129, 137, 141 

Willelmus, 120, 137 
Bulwarcle, Johannes le. 136 

Mabilia uxor ejus, 136 
Burwelle, Stephanus de, 136 



Cant', Johannes de, l27 
Cantebrugg, Nicholaus de, 1^1 
Cartere, Charetere 

Mabilia uxor .... le, 147 

Eobertus le, 125, 126, 127, 128, 
129, 130 Us, 138 bis, 139, 140, 
142 Us, 145 Us, 147 

Willelmus le, 126 
Chapeleyn, Bartholomeus, 123 
Charet, Eobertus de, 123 
Charetere, see Cartere 
Clerici, Thomas filius Eeginaldi, 122, 

124 
Gierke, Thomas le, 140 
Cornwalleys, Johannes, 121 
Cote, Kote, Willelmus, 108 
Crille, Johannes, 140 
Cristemasse, Johannes, 143 
Curteys, Johannes, 136 

Thomas, 136, 147 



Daune, Johannes, 124, 126 
Drury, Isabella, 136 
Margareta, 145 



Elm, Johannes de, 123, 125, 126, 
127, 128, 129 

Willelmus de, 128 
Ely, Bishops of 

Balsham, Hugh de, 119 

Hothom, John de, 121, 122, 123, 
124, 126, 128, 129, 130 Us 

Ketene, J. de, 134 

Norewold, Hugh de, 121 
Ermegard vidua, 108 
Est, Hubertus, 143 



Fettewelle, Johannes filius prepositi 
de, 114 



Filius, Filia : — 

Ace, Walterus, 108 
Willelmus, 108 

Ailrech, Azo, 108 

Armeyafd, Willelmus, 108 

Hervei, Willelmus, 119 

Prepositi, Johannes, 114 

Eeginaldi clerici, Thomas, 122, 
124 

Ricardi, Eobertus, 108 

Stangrim, Johannes, 108 

Stanhard, Johannes, 108 

Walteri, Henricus, 140 
Fishere [see also Piscator], Henricus 
le, 139, 141, 142, 143, 146 

Johannes le, 127, 141, 142 

Willelmus le, 125 
Fie, Hugo, 126 

Johannes^ 123 
Foulere, Willelmus de, 138 
Fox, Johannes, 142 

Johannes, junior, 123, 125, 126, 
128, 129, 138, 141, 143, 146 Us 

Johannes, senior, 128, 139, 141, 
143 Us 



Gardhaut, Garhaut 
Johannes, 130, 136 
Katerina filia ejus, 130 
Gibat, Galfridus, 108 
Gigil [see also Kiggel] 
Johannes, 132 
Michael, 132 
Godescarte, Willelmus, 140 
Godloke, Willelmus, 126 
Gunten, Johannes de, 136 

Alicia uxor ejus, 136 
Gys, Henricus, 122 
Wido filius ejus, 122 



Habot, see Abbot 
Hareng, Galfridus, 108 

Johannes, 132 

Nigellus, 108 
Hasel, Willelmus, 123 
Helegeye, Willelmus de, 127 
Herde, Hirde, Hyrde 

Emma uxor Johannis le, 136 



INDEX OF PEESONS. 



157 



Herde, Hiixîe, Hyrde 

Johannes le, 135, 130, 140, 141, 147 
Hering, Johannes, 129 
Herveus, 119 

Willehnus fihus ejus, 119 
Hervy, Willehnus, 119 
Hewen, Willelmus, 124, 132, 140, 
141 

Margeria uxor ejus, 140 
Hospitalis S. Johannis, Fratres, 128, 
132 

Magister, 130 
Hothom, John de. Bishop of Elj-, 
121, 122, 123, 124, 126, 128, 129, 
130 bis 
Hubert, Amicia, 146 
Hucstere, Huxtere 

Willelmus le, 125, 131, 139 

Alicia uxor ejus, 125 
Hynde, Johannes le, 127, 129 



Ide, Kogerus, 120 
Ilger, Johannes, 145 

Salomon, 129, 145 

Willelmus, 144 
Ixseninge, Nicholaus, 134 



Launce, Thomas, 124, 126 
Laurke, Lauerke, Gerardus, 108 

Kicardus, 108 
Lovering, Johannes, 139, 143 
Lytleport, Michael de, 127 



Maddingle, Robertus de, 127 
Malherbe, Thomas, 108 
Manimester, Maynimester 

Johannes, 114, 131, 139, 141, 143 
Marchant, Johannes le, 120 

Stephanus filius ejus, 120 
Marchford, Willelmus le Foulere de, 

138 
Mauntele, Manteley 

Kicardus, 125, 126, 131, 136, 142 

Mabilia uxor ejus, 125 
Meire, Meyre, Willelmus le, 124, 131 
Messor, 122, 126, 127, 128, 130, 135 

Azo, 108 
Michel, Willelmus, 132 
Molendinarius, Simon, 127 
Mortimere, Henricus, 138, 143 
Mounfort, Monfort, Mounford 

Johannes, 113, 123, 125, 126, 138 
bis 

Johannes junior, 129, 143 



Jordan, Elisota, 139 



Ketene, J. de. Bishop of Ely, 134 
Kiggel, Kygel [see also Gigil] 

Agnes filia Michaelis, 145 

Johannes, 126 

Michael, 141 
Kingstede, John de Stowe persona 

de, 127 
Knyt, Galfridus, 120 
Kote, see Cote 
Kyng, Eogerus, 144 



Lakinghethe, Thurstan de, 126 
Lange, Elizabeths la, 134 
Larke, Henricus, 119 

Juliana, 119 
Launce, Isabella, 125 

Johannes, 124 

VOL. IV. 



Neno, Willelmus, 108 
Neweman, Herveus le, 119 
Norewold, Hugh, Bishop of Ely, 121 



Packere, John le, 126, 129 
Patrik, 108 

Johannes, 135 
Peche, Willelmus, 124 
Pectston, Pexton, Johannes, 120, 124 
Pickerel, Ricardus, 127 

Salomon, 127 
Piscator [see also Fishere] 

Henricus, 124, 128 

Johannes, 124, 134 
Pomat, Johannes, 126 
Pope, Johannes, 124 
Porcarius, Johannes, 131 
Porteroye, Johannes, 124 
Prepositus, 108 



158 



THE COUET BARON. 



Prepositus, Albin, 119 
Presthous, Stephanus atte, 135 



Eamsey, Abbot of, 120, 126, 131 
Ripereve, Galfridus Knyt, 123 
Rushepilere, Rispiler, Alanus, 12G, 
132 



Sarle, Johannes, 135 
Sauser, J., 115 
Schirhorne, Ricardus, 123 
Scot, Robertus, 143 
Shepherd, Henricus le, 144 
Sneil, Sneyl, Gerardus, 108 

Ricardus, 108 
Stangrim, 108 
Stonhard, Johannes, 108 
Stowe, Johannes de, persona de 

Kingstede, 127 
Stretham, Johannes de, 128 
Swetegrom, Swetgrome, Sewetegrom 

Adam, 143, 144 

Henricus, 128, 132, 143, 145 
Swon 

Geoffrey le, 114 

Mabel, 114 



Tame, Gilbertus, 121 
Fugerus filius Margerie, 120 
Margeria, 120 
Thomas, 120, 139 



Tame, Willelmus, 132 
Tepito, Typeto, Johannes, 113, 122, 
126, 127, 132, 135 bis, 138, 140, 
141, 142 bis, 143, 147 
Willelmus, 110 
Thame, Thomas de, capellanus, 127, 
131, 138 
Willelmus de, 130, 133 
Tidd, Tyd, Adam de, 134 
Johannes de, 119 
Ricardus de, 134, 140 
Willelmus de, 144 
Torold, Ricardus, 123 



Vacher, Robertus le, 126 
Veke, Willelmus le, 113 



Welle, Witpayn de, 120 

Weting, Petrus de, 125 

Whitring, Whetering, Whytering, 
Witering 
Galfridus, 131, 134, 142, 147 
Henricus, 130, 147 
Johanna filia Galfridi, 134 
Johannes filius Galfridi, 142 
Mabilia uxor Galfridi, 142 
Reginaldus, 147 
Thomas, 137 

Whippe, Willelmus atte, 141 

Wintering, Galfridus de, 122 

Witing, Walterus, 119 



OBJECTS AND WORK 



OF THE 



SELDEN SOCIET 



WITH 



AN ACCOUNT OF THE PRINCIPAL CLASSES OF 

MANUSCRIPTS WITH WHICH THE SOCIETY 

PROPOSES TO DEAL 



LONDON 
BERNARD QUARITCH, 15 PICCADILLY, W. 

1891 

Price to non-members of the Society, One Shilling. 



CONTENTS. 



»ol*ioo 

PAGE 

Outline of the Objects of the Society ... ... ... ... 5 

An Account of the Principal Classes of MSS. with which 

the Society proposes to deal ... ... ... ... ... 9 

Scheme for the Collection of Materials for the Dictionaries 

OF Anglo-French and of Law Terms ... ... ... ... 17 

Publications of the Society ... ... ... ... ... ... 21 

Copy of the Original Proposal to found the Selden Society 22 

Rules of the Society ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 24 

Honorary Secretaries ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 26 

Officers and Council ... ... ... 27 




efben ^ocie^g^ 



FOUNDED 1887. 
To ENCOURAGE THE StUDY AND ADVANCE THE KNOWLEDGE OF 

THE History of English Law. 



OUTLINE OF OBJECTS. 

I. The printing of MSS. and of new editions and translations of books 
having an important bearing on English Legal History ; 

H. The collection of materials for Dictionaries of Anglo-French and of 
Law Terms ; 

HI. The collection of materials for a history of English Law ; 

IV. The holding of meetings for the reading and discussion of papers ; 

V. The publication of a selection of the papers read at the meetings and 
of other original communications. 



The fifth volume of the Society's publications, which will be issued in 
respect of the Subscription for 1891, is in course of preparation. It will 
consist of the well-known '' Mirror of Justices," and will be edited from the 
MS. at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, by Mr. J. W. Whitaker, of 
Trinity College, Cambridge. This curious book has never been properly 
edited, and the text of it which has hitherto been current is full of many 
perplexing mistakes. The book is of great importance as showing the 
opinion which a distinguished citizen of London held concerning the 
administration of the Common Law by the King's Justices, and the many 
defects in the great statutes of Edward I.'s reign. 

The sixth volume of the Society's publications, which will be issued in 
respect of the Subscription for 1892, will be 'The Leet Jurisdiction in the 
City of Norwich during the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries,' edited, 
from rolls in the possession of the Corporation, by the Rev. W. H. Hudson. 
The value of this volume will consist in the early character of its evidence 
on the working of the Frankpledge system, of which little has hitherto been 
known, and on the subject of municipal development in a chartered borough, 
the origin of municipal divisions, and on the social, commercial, and judicial 
arrangements at the close of the thirteenth century in one of the largest 
cities in the kingdom. 

The first publication of the Society, issued in respect of the Subscrip- 



tion for 1887, is a volume of Thirteenth Century Pleas of the Crown, 
from the Rolls preserved in H.M. Public Record Office, edited, with a 
translation, by Mr. F. W. Maitland, Downing Professor of the Laws of 
England, Cambridge. Many of these criminal cases are very interesting, 
and they throw more light than cases of almost any other class on the 
manners and customs of the people. They are not, however, on that 
account the less valuable from the point of view of the legal historian. 
The criminal cases in the Year Books are not many, and yet they 
have to fill the long interval between Bracton and Staundford. The 
volume begins with the year 1200, and contains many cases from the 
reign of John, which illustrate fully the working of the ordeals of fire 
and water. It contains also many cases from the first part of Henry III.'s 
reign, which may serve to show how a substitute for the ordeals was 
gradually found in trial by jury. Though for the most part the cases are 
cases of felony, still many of the grievances redressed by the Great Charter 
are illustrated, and care has been taken to collect whatever throws new 
light on the procedure of the ancient Local Courts, the system of frank- 
pledge, the representation of counties and boroughs for judicial purposes, 
the condition of the towns, their corporate privileges, and the like. 

The second volume of the Society's publications, issued in respect of 
the Subscription for 1888, is a volume of Select Pleas in Manorial and 
other Seigniorial Courts from the earliest Manorial Rolls extant, edited 
with a translation by Mr. F. W. Maitland. The term Manorial Rolls 
may perhaps hardly give a fair impression of the contents of these 
records. Only a small part of them is taken up by conveyancing 
entries, such as surrenders, admittances, and the like. By far the greater 
part is taken up by contentious proceedings ; and these are of many 
different kinds. In the first place there are the actions for land held by 
villein services, and disputes between the lord and his tenants as to services 
and rights of common, and similar matters. In the second place, there 
are numerous personal actions for debts and trespasses, matters quite 
unconnected with land law. In the third place, the lord usually has the 
leet jurisdiction. The first stages of a criminal prosecution often take 
place in the Local Courts ; and the pettier offences are punished there, the 
King's Courts hardly as yet interfering with any crime which falls short of 
felony. The mediaeval law as to oifences answering to our modern 
misdemeanours and offences punishable upon summary conviction must be 
found in the Rolls of the Local Courts, which were in truth the police courts 
of the neighbourhood. The procedure before these local tribunals is of very 
great interest, as it preserved many archaisms which had disappeared from 
the King's Courts before the time at which our extant records begin. Lastly, 
the whole system of local police, of frankpledge and so forth, is displayed. 
In short, the whole legal life and much of the social life of a mediaeval 
village is recorded in one way or another upon the Manor Rolls. In the 
Public Record Office there is a rich collection of these rolls, many dating 



from the reign of Edward I. and a few even from the reign of Henry III., 
relating to manors which at one time or another came into the hands of the 
Crown. It is probable that there are rolls equally early in other libraries 
and in private hands ; and about such the Council will be grateful for any 
information. By the permission of the Council of King's College, 
Cambridge, the editor has been able to use a very ancient set of rolls 
belonging to the Abbey of Bee. The volume contains extracts from the 
rolls of the manors in England of the Abbey of Bee in no less than thirteen 
counties (Berks, Bucks, Dorset, Hants, Middlesex, Northampton, Norfolk, 
Oxford, Surrey, Suffolk, Sussex, Warwick, and Wilts) ; extracts from the 
rolls of the Abbot of Ramsey's manors in Huntingdonshire, and from the 
rolls of his great honour of Broughton, which extended into seven shires ; 
also from the rolls of his Court of the fair of St. Ives in 1275, which 
contain many curious cases concerning the merchant '' communitates " of 
Huntingdon, Leicester, Nottingham, and other towns, and throw new light 
on "the law merchant" ; also from the rolls of the Abbot of Battle's 
Manorial Court of Brightwaltham (Berks), and of the view of frankpledge 
held at Brightwaltham, for Brightwaltham, Hartley, and Conholt ; also 
from the rolls of the Abbess of Romsey's Courts of the Manor of Ashton 
and of the Hundred of Whorwhelsden, Wilts. 

The third volume of the Society's publications, issued in respect of the 
Subscription for 1889, is a volume of Select Civil Pleas of the thirteenth 
century from the Plea Rolls preserved in H.M. Public Record Office, edited 
with a translation by Mr. W. Paley Baildon, of Lincoln's Inn. Some 
account of these Rolls is given by Professor Maitland in his Introduction 
to the first volume of the Society's publications. The Civil Cases for the 
most part consist of actions relating directly or indirectly to land, of writs 
of right, writs of entry, actions for dower and the like ; the various 
''Assizes" (Mort d'ancestor. Novel disseisin. Last Presentation, &c.) are 
very frequent. In these actions the title of the litigants is often set out 
with much detail. Sometimes it is traced to the Conquest ; and at times 
reference is made to Domesday Book. Among the actions indirectly 
concerning land may be instanced those to enforce feudal services, for 
warranty of land, disputes about levying tolls, infringement of franchises, 
obstruction of rivers, and so forth. Among cases not concerning land 
there may be mentioned an early case of Boycotting in 1200, and an action 
for breach of promise of marriage somewhat later. This volume, like the 
recent volume of Pleas of the Crown, begins with the year 1200, the 
point at which the Rotuli Curiae Regis, edited by Sir Francis Palgrave 
for the Record Commissioners, comes to an end, and well illustrates 
how new writs were devised when occasion required, and thus displays 
the gradual evolution of the various '' forms of action," real and personal. 
Cases of exceptional topographical or genealogical interest are inserted, 
as well as all important cases referred to in the Abbreviatio Placitorum. 

The fourth volume of the Society's publications, issued in respect of 



8 

the Subscription for 1890, is a volume on the Court Baron, edited by 
Professor F. W. Maitland and Mr. W. Paley Baildon. It contains four 
short treatises containing precedents for the business of Manorial and 
other Local Courts. These treatises belong to the early part of the 
fourteenth and the last years of the fifteenth century, and will, it is hoped, 
throw new light on many points, especially upon procedure and pleading. 
The volume will also comprise selections from the Court Rolls of the Bishop 
of Ely's Manor of Littleport, which rolls have been placed at the Editor's 
disposal by the kindness of Mr. O. C. Pell. 

In all the publications of the Society there will be, besides a 
translation, a full subject index and complete indexes of the names of 
all persons and places, thereby rendering the volumes of great value to local 
historians and genealogists as well as to lawyers. 

The Council will be glad to receive offers of help from all persons 
who are willing to assist in carrying into effect the second of the Society's 
objects : the collection of materials for the Dictionaries of Anglo-French 
and of Law Terms. Directions for the plan to be adopted in collecting 
materials have been kindly drawn up by Professor W. W. Skeat. These 
will be found at pp. 17-20 of 'Objects and Work of the Selden Society,' 
bound with each of the Society's volumes. 

An account of the principal classes of MSS. with which the Society 
proposes to deal may be had from the Honorary Secretary by members of 
the Society gratis, or by non-members at the price of one shilling. Mr. 
Bernard Quaritch, 15 Piccadilly, W., has been appointed agent for the sale 
to non-members of the Society's publications. The price to non-members 
of each volume of the Society's publications will be ^i. Ss. 

The Annual Subscription to the Society is One Guinea, due on the 
ist of January for the year then commencing. Members have no further 
liability of any kind. Each Subscriber will receive a copy of all the 
publications issued in respect of the Subscription for the year. Subscribers 
paying Five Guineas now will receive a copy of the first, second, third, and 
fourth volumes of the Society's publications as well as the publications for 
the current year. A composition of Twenty Guineas is accepted in lieu of 
all Annual Subscriptions, constituting Life Membership from the date of 
composition, and in the case of Libraries, Societies, and Corporate Bodies, 
Membership for thirty years. Subscriptions should be paid : 

in America, to Ezra R. Thayer, Cambridge, Mass., Honorary Secre- 
tary for America, who has kindly undertaken to receive all American 
Subscriptions ; 

in England, to the Honorary Secretary and Treasurer, 

P. EDWARD DOVE, 

/u/y 1891. 23 Old Buildings, Lincoln's Inn. 



^ef^en ^ocie^g. 



FOUNDED 1887, 



The Selden Society has been formed to encourage the study and 
advance the knowledge of the History of EngHsh Law. This will at first 
be carried into effect mainly by collecting and editing in a convenient form 
materials for students to work upon in their own way. Vast stores of 
material of the most valuable kind, illustrative of the growth and the 
principles of the mediaeval common law, lie buried in unindexed and 
uncalendared records of the realm at the Public Record Office, and in 
unpublished MSS. in public and private libraries ; and one main object 
of this Society will be to collect and publish selections from these records 
and manuscripts. 

But although publishing will thus be the chief object of the Society, it 
is proposed to hold meetings from time to time for the receiving of reports 
of work done or in progress, the reading of papers and the discussion of 
other matters of interest ; though it is not proposed at present to spend any 
money in printing papers or transactions. 

A short account of some of the principal classes of records which may 
be dealt with by the Society will serve to show how wide a field lies open 
to its labours. 

First in importance and judicial authority are the Plea Rolls of the 
Courts of King's Bench, Common Pleas, and Exchequer, including the 
Rolls of the Curia Regis, of which the earliest in existence is of the sixth 
year of Richard I . The earlier portion of the Rotuli Curiae Regis, up to 
and including the first year of John, have been printed in full by the 
Record Commissioners, and the continuation of this publication, either in 
extenso or in the form of selections, would be an appropriate undertaking 
for the Society, although the records of a somewhat later period are perhaps 
more full of interest. The later pleadings and judgments are the most 
authentic materials for English legal history. They throw great light both 
upon the state of the law and the social and economic condition of the 



lO 

people; and as very many of the judgments givQ the rationes decidendi 
upon wliich the Court proceeded, they will not only be interesting as 
illustrations of legal history, but will also supply available precedents on 
many questions still frequently litigated in the Courts relating to rights 
of common, markets, fisheries, tolls, &c., and will moreover be of great 
use in illustrating the growth of many principles of the law the origin of 
which is obscure. A few of these valuable records have been made to 
some degree accessible, but in a very imperfect and inadequate manner, 
by the '' Abbreviatio Placitorum " printed by the Record Commissioners. 
The extracts there given are very scanty, being in fact only a portion of a 
large mass of short notes entered in a kind of Commonplace Book by 
Agarde and other keepers of the Records in the time of Queen Elizabeth, 
the remainder of which is in the Public Record Office. They are moreover 
so brief that it is impossible in most cases to discover the true value of the 
record without having recourse to the original, a labour requiring so much 
time and such special palseographical knowledge that, for the practical 
purposes of the general student, these records remain a sealed book. 
A glance at the Index Rerum of the '' Abbreviatio Placitorum " will show 
more clearly than can be done in the present prospectus the importance of 
publishing selections from these records in greater detail and in a more 
complete form. 

It is also proposed to print extracts from the Eyre Rolls and Assize 
Rolls with the view of illustrating the state of the criminal law in early 
times. These records extend from the reign of Henry III. to that of 
Henry VI. inclusive ; and from them it is expected that much valuable 
matter will be derived, which will no doubt assist in clearing up the many 
difficult points and doubts arising from the obscure language and imperfect 
entries of the reports found in the printed Year Books. The criminal cases 
in the Year Books are not many, and yet they have to fill the long interval 
between Bracton and Staundford. Many points are still obscure, and none 
more so than the history of the petty jury. By the publication of these 
records we ought to be able to trace the precise process by which the twelve 
hundredors and four townsmen of Bracton became the two juries of a later 
time. 

It may be here remarked that Coke, Selden, Hale, and other writers 
now received as more or less authoritative, depended very much in 
their turn on the records above mentioned, to which however they 
seem to have had but very imperfect access. Hale, in particular, quotes 
largely from them, and when he states a proposition of law he generally 



1 1 



proceeds to illustrate and prove it by extracts taken from these Rolls. One 
of the objects of the Society will be to supply, as far as its means permit, a 
complete collection of entries similar to those from which these authors have 
deduced their principles, with the view of enabling future writers to illus- 
trate more amply the ancient propositions and principles of the law, and to 
correct the earlier text-writers in those instances in which, from being in 
possession of imperfect materials only, they were led into error. 

By the publication of such collections, much light will incidentally be 
thrown on the social life and condition of England during the Middle Ages. 
The records of the Courts are rich in entries bearing on the state of the 
tenants in villenage, their services and their relation to their lords ; on the 
laws and customs of cities and boroughs and social administration in them ; 
on trials by ordeal and by battle ; on the laws of the forest ; on the powers 
of the Court and the Justices ; on feudal tenures ; on the modes of settling 
land, the customs of Borough English and Gavelkind, and other interesting 
subjects, such as the evolution of the forms of action, the doctrines of 
possession, consideration, contract, and so forth. 

The earlier proceedings of the Court of Chancery commence in 
the reign of Richard II., and show that the business of the Court at 
that period did not consist chiefly in suits relating to the uses of land, but 
in receiving and adjudicating on petitions addressed to the Chancellor in 
cases of assault and trespass and a variety of outrages which were cognisable 
at Common Law, but for which the Petitioner was unable to obtain redress, 
owing to the position or powerful connexions of his adversary. They 
are exceedingly valuable and interesting as illustrating the origin and 
variations in the mode of procedure of the Court of Chancery as a 
court of equitable jurisdiction, and are full of information as to the manners 
and customs of the times. A few specimens of these early proceedings have 
been printed by the Record Commissioners, but a vast collection of them 
awaits further exploration. 

The pleadings in the Ordinary or Common Law side of the Court of 

Chancery exist from a very early time, and consist of proceedings in 

Petitions of Right, on Traverses of Inquisitions, and in w^its of scire 

facias for the Repeal of Letters Patent, Writs of Partition and Dower, 

and similar matters of ordinary legal procedure. 

The records of the Court of Exchequer, on the Equity or Queen's 
Remembrancer's side, consist of the proceedings on Informations exhibited 
by the Attorney-General against debtors and accountants to the Crown, 
or on seizures of goods forfeited for non-payment of customs or other 



12 

causes, and on Attainders and actions for the recovery of Crown property 
illustrating incidentally personal history and successions to property. 
They also contain pleadings in such personal actions as were pleaded in 
this Court by means of the writ of " Quominus," including a great number 
of actions by the clergy for non-payment of tithes. The Memoranda Rolls 
of this branch of the Exchequer extend to the present century in an almost 
unbroken series from the reign of Henry III., and some are in existence 
of an even earlier time. These, together with the English Bills from the 
time of Elizabeth, constitute a mine of information that ought to be made 
available for the legal and the historical student. 

The Memoranda of the Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer embrace an 
equally wide period, and contain the enrolments of the pleadings and 
judgments in suits on writs of '' Quo titulo clamat," of " Quare maneria in 
manibus regis seisin non debent," on claims of franchises and privileges 
within cities, boroughs, towns, and liberties, and of commissions to 
survey Crown lands, woods, and wastes, &c., with the returns thereto, 
and abound with information on the subject of commons, fisheries, mines, 
profits and perquisites of Courts, and manorial rights and customs 
generally. 

A glance at Jones's '' Index to the Records," under the head of 
*' Memoranda," will be sufficient to show the valuable nature of this series 
of records. 

The Plea Rolls on the Common Law side of the Exchequer extend 
over the same period as the Memoranda Rolls, and form a voluminous 
record of actions relating to real property and titles. 

In addition to the foregoing, the records of the Courts of Star Chamber 
and Requests, and of the Courts of Augmentation of the Crown Revenues, 
established by Henry VIII. and Edward VI., are full of legal and historical 
interest, and may, by a process of judicious selection, be made to furnish 
many volumes of the greatest value to the legal student, the county historian, 
and the student of social economy. 

The large collection of records of criminal trials known as the Bag-a 
de Secretis — records once kept in the Treasury of the King's Bench in the 
custody of the Lord Chief Justice of England, the Clerk of the Crown, 
and the Attorney-General — should be carefully examined. Extending as 
these records do from the time of Edward IV. to that of George III., 
comprising as they do the chief State Trials during more than three 
centuries, they are of priceless value. Yet they have been much neglected 
by Jav/yers and historians. Sir Francis Palgrave's catalogue of their 



T3 



contents is useful, but it is only a catalogue. A systematic account of the 
contents, with extracts and notes, has yet to be prepared. 

The continuation of the publication of the proceedings and ordinances 
of the Privy Council, that is to say the renewal and completion of the 
work of Sir Harris Nicolas, would be no small service. There are few 
gaps in the Privy Council Registers, and a study of them might throw 
much new light on the history of one of the most important, and, it may 
be added, most obscure of English institutions. 

The records of the Courts in which the Canon Law was administered 
in this country, so far as they still exist, would probably be of high interest ; 
and it is hoped that the Society may hereafter find means of inquiring into 
them, and if they should be found of value of publishing some extracts from 
them. A well-known passage in Chaucer's Friar's Tale, descriptive of the 
jurisdiction of an Archdeacon's Court, can hardly fail to whet the appetite of 
the investigator into the laws and manners and customs of our ancestors : — 

" Whilom there was d welly ng in my countré 

An erchedeken, a man of high degré. 

That boldely did execucioun 

In punischyng of fornicacioun. 

Of wicchecraft, and eek of bauderye, 

Of diffamacioun and avoutrye. 

Of chirche-reeves and of testamentes, 

Of contracts, and of lak of sacramentes," 
&c. &c. 
How far such an investigation is likely to prove fruitful is as yet a 
question on which the Council has formed no opinion. 

The jurisprudence and practice of the Manorial Courts being of great 
interest to the constitutional and social historian should be illustrated by 
the records that escaped the incendiaries of 1381. With these might 
be included an account of the Courts of the Forest and of Forest Law, the 
jurisdictions of the Palatine counties, including the Duchy Courts, and such 
franchises as Ely, which enjoyed jura regalia, and the interesting franchises 
of the Lords Marchers on the Welsh borders, together with the peculiar 
customs which prevailed within the Scotch borders. 

The origin and jurisdiction of the anomalous Courts of Council which 
incroached upon the province of the Common Law would well repay further 
investigation, especially as several of these possess a very full collection of 
records. Amongst these may be mentioned the Council of the West and 
marches of Wales which runs parallel with the decaying franchises of the 



Lords Marchers, and in relation to which an enormous mass of unex- 
plored evidence exists in the Cottonian collection ; the great Court of 
Star Chamber ; the Court of Requests, with an interesting series of 
records little knov/n to legal antiquaries, except by the illustrative cases 
edited at the end of the sixteenth century by Sir Julius Caesar, a work which 
is now very rare; the Council of the North, founded in 1536, and reorganised 
in 1632 by Lord Strafford, a monograph of which would be of great interest 
to Yorkshire antiquaries ; the Stannary Courts, and the Court of the 
Staple both at London and Calais, two institutions which illustrate the 
rise of the commercial greatness of this country in the fourteenth and fifteenth 
centuries ; the Court of Castle Chamber at Dublin and others, all of which 
will serve to illustrate the history of the incroachments of the extraordinary 
jurisdiction of the Crown. 

The origin of Mercantile and of International law might be fully illus- 
trated from the evidence of mediaeval and Tudor State Papers, and it is 
hoped to compile a collection of precedents from these and other sources. 

The Anglo-Saxon laws form another sphere of work that should not be 
neglected. In the words of the Bishop of Oxford, '' such documents are 
generally obscure, requiring for their elucidation a knowledge of the 
customs they were intended to amend, which is not easily attainable." Here 
the documents themselves have to be carefully collated, analogies to the 
Carlovingian or other systems have to be sought for and noted ; and the vast 
mass of illustrative matter which modern archaeological and historical 
research has brought to light has to be arranged and utilised. Passing to 
such compilations as the laws of *' Edward the Confessor" and of *' Henry 
the First," we find in them attempted codes of common law and custom, 
which require to be studied in connexion with Domesday Book. Early 
charters have hitherto been comparatively little studied, and Madox's 
Formulare has clearly shown how valuable is their evidence for the 
history and development of legal formulas. Scattered also through early 
cartularies is a rich store of references to, and descriptions of, early suits 
and pleadings almost from the time of Domesday Book. All these require 
collection on a scientific and systematic plan. Borough custumals and 
records of suits in which municipalities have been engaged, both in print 
and in MS., have to be examined, and will be found occasionally to supply 
materials which would elsewhere be sought in vain. 

The question is not so much what to include as where to begin. 

A Vokime on the origin of the King's Courts is much to be desired. 
The archaeology of the subject is almost a blank. Little that is definite 
is known of their official procedure before the thirteenth century ; yet there 



15 

are many scattered and unique fragments that would supply much of the 
knowledge that is wanted. For lack of this knowledge Selden and others of 
old may have fallen into error. Madox and Palgrave did something to fill 
the gap. Something further in the same direction may be hoped to be 
accomplished. 

It is hoped also to publish new editions of Glanville, Bracton, 
Fleta, the Mirror, and other ancient treatises. The mass of valuable 
material which has never yet been printed is, however, so large that at 
first the Society may devote its attention mainly to this, rather than to 
books which, in however imperfect a form, are already in print ; but the 
claim of these books to be well edited will not be neglected. There are 
also many '* readings " by famous lawyers which have never been printed, 
and some of these well deserve publication as being concise and systematic 
expositions of various branches of the law. 

It is proposed that the records published by the Society shall, as a 
general rule, be accompanied by translations and furnished with carefully 
constructed digests and indexes of the names of persons and places, thereby 
becoming of great value to local historians and genealogists as well as to lawyers. 

The collection of materials for Dictionaries of Anglo-French, and of law 
terms and phrases, also comes within the scope of the Society's work, and 
will, it is hoped, be at once begun. The Council desire ' to call special 
attention to the practical instructions, kindly drawn up by Professor W. W. 
Skeat, for the collection of these materials. If these instructions are 
carefully adhered to, the collections will become a most valuable index 
to the whole of our law. When the collections are sufficiently complete for 
printing — a matter doubtless of many years — they will be handed over for 
editing to some competent philologist. Until then they will be kept in some 
convenient place where scholars may have access to them at all reasonable 
times ; and it is even possible that arrangements may be made by which 
scholars at a distance, who are unable to consult them in person, may be 
informed of their contents on any particular subject. 

The Council will be glad to receive offers of help in editing the 
Society's publications and in collecting materials for the Dictionaries, as well 
as any information as to the custody and contents of any MSS, that ought 
to be dealt with by the Society. 

Considering that English law constitutes one of the great systems of 
jurisprudence of the world, not restricted to England and Ireland, but being 
the origin and model of the institutions of the United States and of our 
Colonies, the importance which attaches to its due investigation can hardly 
be exaggerated. Much light may also be thrown, as the English materials 

VOL. IV. u 



î6 

become more accessible, upon the historical comparison of English and 
Scotch law. From the Scotch side the subject is obscured through 
scantiness and want of system in the early national records. And here it 
may be observed that the completeness with which such early records as 
exist in Scotland have been collected and edited, affords a striking contrast 
to the poverty in the midst of wealth which lies before the English student. 
As the amount of the Society's work depends entirely on the number of 
Subscribers, it is hoped that the Society will obtain a large number of sup- 
porters. Inasmuch as the Society is not burdened with any expenses on the 
score of rents or salaries, almost the whole of its income will be directly 
devoted to the preparation of its publications ; and it is not unreasonable, 
therefore, to hope that the amount of the publications will be considerable. 

The Annual Subscription to the Society is One Guinea, due on the ist 
of January for the year then commencing. Members have no further 
liability of any kind. Each Subscriber will receive a copy of all the publi- 
cations issued in respect of the subscription for the year. A composition of 
Twenty Guineas is accepted in lieu of all Annual Subscriptions, constituting 
Life Membership from the date of composition, and in the case of Libraries, 
Societies, and Corporate Bodies, Membership for thirty years. Subscriptions 
should be paid : 

in America, to Mr. Ezra R. Thayer, Cambridge, Mass., Honorary 
Secretary for America, who has kindly undertaken to receive all 
American Subscriptions ; 

in England, to the Honorary Secretary and Treasurer, 

Mr. P. Edward Dove, 23 Old Buildings, Lincoln's Inn, London. 



17 

SCHEME FOR THE COLLECTION OF MATERIALS FOR THE DICTIONARIES 
OF ANGLO-FRENCH AND OF LAW TERMS. 

L The Dictionary of Anglo-French. 

The best name for the language of the French MSS. written in 
England is, from a philological point of view, Anglo-French. The term 
Norman is objectionable, as it may be confused with the Norman of the 
Continent, from which Anglo-French gradually diverged, owing to its peculiar 
locality and use. 

Anglo-French is chiefly used for legal matters, but not exclusively ; we 
find also histories, romances, and poems. It would be highly desirable to 
make a complete list of all the MSS. and books existing in Anglo-French, 
or at any rate of all the editions. A list of the unpublished MSS. might be 
made later. 

In compiling a Dictionary of the language, by far the best plan is to 
follow, as far as is deemed convenient, the method which has been so 
successfully employed for the construction of the New English Dictionary, 
now being edited by Dr. Murray. This is the only feasible plan by which 
a satisfactory result can be obtained. 

In order to make a complete Dictionary of the whole language it will 
be necessary to take some notice of every word ; but when the same word 
recurs it need not be again noticed, unless there is some variation in the 
mode of its use, or in the sense or in the spelling. 

It may be remarked here that the very words which are perfectly 
intelligible to the modern Englishman, because they have found their way 
into English itself, are precisely those which are of most interest and 
importance to the English philologist ; but, in the compilation of a glossary 
only, they would probably receive but small attention. 

II. The Dictionary of Law Terms. 

The want of a good dictionary of law terms has long been felt as well 
by practising lawyers as by antiquaries and historical students. Existing 
law dictionaries are in many ways imperfect. The publication of mediaeval 
records and documents has thrown open to our generation many sources of 
information which until of late years were not accessible; and it is hoped 
that by the co-operation of scholars who are willing to read one or more 
books and to collect quotations, a dictionary may be prepared which shall 
contain the results of modern research. 

It is desirable to collect materials on the widest possible scale. All 
technical legal terms, all words common in legal forms, and all words used 

U 2 



i8 

to describe parcels, whether used with a technical meaning or not, should be 
included. When the materials have been collected and are ready for 
editing, it may be necessary to place some limits to the dates of the words 
to be included in the dictionary, or it may even be necessary to have two 
dictionaries, the one of earlier and the other of later terms ; but the Council 
think it better to leave the decision of these and other questions until the 
materials have been collected. 

It is obvious that quotations are required for the illustration of all 
words ; and the collection of slips should be begun at once. 

The following rules for the guidance ot workers are copied from those 
adopted by the Philological Society. They are found to work extremely 
well in practice. 

The most important of these rules is Rule i. It is absolutely necessary 
that all the slips used should be of the same size and form. The right size 
is precisely 7 inches by 4^, this being the commonest size of note-paper. 
If this is at all varied from, trouble is caused ; but it may be remarked that 
a sheet slightly under this size can, in practice, be sorted in with the rest, and 
tied up in bundles ; whilst a sheet a little over the right size causes a great 
deal of annoyance, and is liable to be cut or partly torn away. The bundles 
of slips should be tied up with tape, and should be flanked on both sides by 
protecting pieces of millboard, of the same size as the slips themselves. 

As only half-sheets are required, and the writing is to be on 07ie side 
only, it is often possible to use up halves of old letters. There may even 
be writing or printing on the other side ; only it should be crossed out. 



MECHANICAL AND PRACTICAL REGULATIONS. 

I. Each word or phrase should be written out with its quotation and the full 
reference on a separate half-sheet of note-paper, lengthwise^ and on one side 
of the paper only^ 

[N.B. — A ream of common note-paper costs 2s. ; this should contain 
480 sheets and 960 half-sheets, thus admitting of the registration of 960 
words at a trifling expense.] 

It is most earnestly requested that this ride may be strictly and undevi- 
atingly followed^ its object being to enable the Editors to sort the various 
contributions at once into alphabetical groups^ and so to prevent the accumu- 
lations of matter from becoming unmanageable. 

* The exact method of transcription is shown by the siDecimen given on page 20. 



19 

2. The edition made use of should be stated once for all by written communi- 

cation to the Honorary Secretary, and throughout adhered to ; and in the 
references, author's name and treatise, page, chapter and section, and verse 
where existing, should be given. The date or approximate date of the 
original work should be prefixed to the reference. In the specimen on page 20 
"ab. 1290" signifies ** about 1290 A.D." Such references can, in some cases, 
be printed, all but the variable numbers. 

3. An earlier edition of a work should be preferred to one more recent, where 

choice is practicable ; — this, however, is merely intended as a general rule, 
and must be subject to the circumstances of each particular case. 

4. In transcribing quotations the original spelling must always be preserved ; 

and when any w^ords are for brevity's sake omitted, the omissions must be 
signified by dots. Moreover, each quotation must be extensive enough to carry 
a complete sense by itself ; mere fragments of sentences enclosing a particular 
word are unintelligible and useless, and, in fact, are not quotations at all. 

5. Where a quotation contains two or more noteworthy words, phrases, &c., it 

must be retranscribed for each. It would be of great convenience if the 
readers for the Law Dictionary would give in [ ] any other references that 
they know to the words which do not appear to them to be of sufficient 
importance to require retranscription of the quotation. This may save much 
time to the Editor. It would be well also where the passage transcribed 
has cases referred to in the margin to state the result of their investigation, 
if they have examined them. This may again save much time, especially 
if the results are negative. 

6. It is requested that all persons who may feel disposed to undertake any 

work or works will be kind enough to signify their intention to the Honorary 
Secretary, and at the same time to mention the name or title of the work 
or works they may select for investigation, so that two persons may not be 
engaged in traversing the same ground. 

7. Contributors are particularly requested to arrange their work in alphabetical 

order before sending it in to the Honorary Secretary. 

8. As regards etymology, nothing should at present be attempted. It can only 

be considered when the final compilation takes place. But all quotations 
which illustrate either the true or the popular etymology of a given word 
will be particularly acceptable. 



20 



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PU BLICATIO NS. 

OBJECTS AND WORK of the SELDEN SOCIETY. With an 
Account of the Principal Classes of Manuscripts with which the 
Society proposes to deal. 4to. 28 pp. Price to non-members. 
One Shilling. 

I. (For 1887). 
SELECT PLEAS of the CROWN. Vol. I., a.d. i 200-1 225, from the 
Rolls preserved in H.M. Public Record Office. Edited, with a 
Translation and complete Indexes of Subjects and of the Names of 
Persons and Places, by F. W. Maitland, Downing Professor of 
the Laws of England, Cambridge. Crown 4to. Price to non- 
members, 28^. 

IL (For 1888). 
SELECT PLEAS in MANORIAL and other SEIGNORIAL 
COURTS. Vol. I., Hen. III. and Edw. I., from the earliest Rolls 
extant. Edited, with a Translation and complete Indexes of 
Subjects and of the Names of Persons and Places, by Professo 
F. W. Maitland. Crown 4to. Price to non-members, 28^". 

IIL (For 1889). 
SELECT CIVIL PLEAS. Vol. I. a.d. 1200-1203, from the Plea 
Rolls preserved in H.M. Public Record Office. Edited, with a 
Translation and complete Indexes of Subjects and of the Names 
of Persons and Places, by W. Paley Baildon, of Lincoln's Inn, 
Barrister-at-law. Crown 4to. Price to non-members, 285'. 

IV. (For 1890). 
PECEDENTS of PLEADING in MANORIAL and other LOCAL 
COURTS. Edited from MSS. of the XIV. and XV. Centuries, 
by Professor F. W. Maitland and W. Paley Baildon. Crown 
4to. Price to non-members, 2Ss. 

V. (in preparation). (For 1891). 
THE MIRROR of JUSTICES. Edited from the MS. at Corpus 
Christi College, Cambridge, by J. W. Whitaker, M.A., Trinity 
College, Cambridge. Crown 4to. Price to non-members, 2Ss, 

VI. (For 1892). 

THE LEFT JURISDICTION in the CITY of NORWICH during 

the thirteenth and FOURTEENTH CENTURIES. 

Edited from the Leet Rolls in the possession of the Corporation, by the 

Rev. W. H. Hudson, M.A. Crown 4to. Price to non-members, 285. 

Non-members can obtain the Publications of the Society from 

Mr. Bernard Quaritch, 15 Piccadilly, London, W., 

who has been appointed Agent for the Sale of the Society's Pubhcations. 



22 



COPY OF THE ORIGINAL PROPOSAL 



23 Old Buildings, Lincoln's Inn: 

26M November^ 1886. 

Sir, 

I have the honour to ask your approval of the following Notice, which I propose, 
with your kind permission, to have placed on the Notice Boards of the Libraries and Common 
Rooms of the Inns of Court. I shall be glad to receive any alterations that you may suggest, if 
possible, not later than Tuesday next, the 30th inst. ; and I shall esteem it a favour if you will 
obtain the consent of any members of the Bar to their names being added to the list. 

I have the honour to be, Sir, 

Your obedient Servant, 

P. EDWARD DOVE. 



A Meeting of Members of the Bar and of other persons interested 
will be held on an early day to consider the advisability of establishing 
a Society to encourage the study and advance the knowledge of the 
History of English Law. Lord Justice Fry has kindly consented to 
preside. It is suggested that the name of the Society shall be the Selden 
Society, and that its objects shall include : 

L The printing of inedited MSS. and the publication of new 
editions of works having an important bearing on 
English legal history ; 

II. The collection of materials for a Dictionary of Anglo- 
French and of Law Terms ; 

III. The collection of materials for a History of English Law ; 

IV. The holding of meetings for the reading and discussion of 
papers ; 

V. The publication of a selection of the papers read at the 
meetings and of other original communications. 



v") 



TO FOUND THE SELDEN SOCIETY. 

The following members of the Bar have expressed their approval of 
the Society : 

The Attorney-General. 

Montague Cookson, Q.C. 

J. Fletcher Moulton, Q.C. 

F. Meadows White, Q.C. 

W. Paley Baildon. 

R. Campbell. 

P. Edward Dove. 

E. Macrory. 

F. W. Maitland. 

H. S. MiLMAN. 

Stuart Moore. 

Professor F. Pollock, LL.D. 

Any person interested may communicate with P. Edward Dove, 
32 Old Buildings, Lincoln's Inn, who will be glad to receive any 
suggestions as to the objects and scope of the Society and the names 
of all persons who wish to attend the meeting. 



24 



RULES. 



1 . This Society shall be called the Selden Society. 

2. The object of the Society shall be to encourage the study and 
advance the knowledge of the History of English Law. 

3. The Society shall have a Council consisting of a President, a 
Vice-President, an Honorary Secretary and Treasurer, and not more 
than one hundred Members. The Lord Chancellor, the Lord Chief Justice 
of England, the Master of the Rolls, the President of the Probate Divorce 
and Admiralty Division, the Chief Justice of the United States, the 
Attorney-General, the Solicitor-General, the Treasurers of the four Inns 
of Court, and the President of the Incorporated Law Society of the 
United Kingdom shall, when willing, be ex-officio members of the Council. 
Twenty members of the Council, of whom three besides the Secretary 
shall be a quorum, shall form an Executive Committee with full power 
to conduct the business of the Society. 

4. The ten members of the Council and the four members of the 
Executive Committee senior on the roll shall retire annually, but shall be 
eligible for re-election. 

5. Membership of the Society shall be constituted by payment of the 
annual subscription or of the life composition. 

6. The annual subscription shall be One Guinea, due on the 
I St of January for the year then commencing. A composition of Twenty 
Guineas shall constitute life membership from the date of the composition, 
and in the case of libraries, societies, and corporate bodies, membership for 
thirty years. 

7. The Anniversary Meeting of the Society shall be held on the 



25 

1 6th of December, the birthday of John Selden, or on such other day as 
the Executive Committee may from time to time appoint. 

8. No Member shall receive the Society's publications until his 
subscription for the year has been paid. 

9. An account of the receipts and expenses of the Society, audited 
by two honorary auditors appointed by the Executive Committee, shall 
be made up to the ist November in each year, and published in the next 
volume issued by the Society. 

10. At the Anniversary Meeting the vacancies in the Council and 
in the Executive Committee shall be filled up. 

11. These Rules shall not be altered except upon motion at the 
Anniversary Meeting. Notice of any such motion shall be given to the 
Honorary Secretary not less than one month, and by the Honorary 
Secretary to the Members not less than fourteen days, before the Meeting. 



26 



HONORARY SECRETARIES. 



UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: 

GENERAL SECRETARY: 

Ezra R. Thayer, Cambridge, Mass. 

LOCAL SECRETARIES: 
ILLINOIS: 

Colin C. H. Fyffe, 23 Portland Block, Chicago. 
MARYLAND : 

William T. Brantly, 225 St. Paul Street, Baltimore. 

MASSACHUSETTS: 

Charles C. Soule, 15^ Beacon Street, Boston. 

RocKWOOD Hoar, 9 P.O. Block, Worcester. 
MICHIGAN: 

Thomas Spencer Jerome, Griswold Street, Detroit. 
MINNESOTA: 

Henry B. Wenzell, National German American Bank Building, St. PauL 
MISSOURI : 

P. T. Bryan, 506 Olive Street, St. Louis. 
NEW YORK : 

John W. Houston, 346 Broadway, New York City. 
OHIO: 

Joseph D. Brannan, 30 W. 4th Street, Cincinnati. 

Wm. E. Gushing, Mercantile Bank Building, Cleveland. 
PENNSYLVANIA : 

Abram H. Wintersteen, Bullitt Building, Philadelphia. 

Johns McCleave, 82 Bakewell Building, Pittsburgh. 
RHODE ISLAND: 

Amasa M. Eaton, Providence. 
WISCONSIN: 

Charles E. Shepard, 86 New Insurance Building, Milwaukee. 



AUSTRALIA: 

NEW SOUTH WALES: 

A. R. BuTTERWORTH, Sydney. 



TASMANIA: 
VICTORIA : 



ONTARIO : 



OTAGO : 



C. MacCarthy Tenison, Hobart. 

Professor Edward Jenks, Melbourne University, Melbourne. 

CANADA: 

William Creelman, Canadian Bank of Commerce Building, Toronto 

JAPAN: 

Professor Alexander Tison, Imperial University, Tokyo. 

NEW ZEALAND: 

Sir Robert Stout, K.C.M.G., Dunedin. 



il^onorarp ^etretarp anïi Crtai^urtr: 

r. Edward Dove, 23 Old Buildings, Lincoln's Inn, l,ondon, W.C. 



27 

OFFICERS AND COUNCIL. 



patron: 

HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN. 

président: 

tTHE Lord Chief Justice of England. 
t The Lord Justice Fry. 

CounnT : 

H.R.H. The Prince of Wales. 

H.R.H. The Duke of Connaught. 

The Lord Chancellor. 

The Lord Chief Justice of England. 
*The Master of the Rolls. 
*The President of the Probate Divorce and Admiralty Division. 

The Chief Justice of the United States. 

The Attorney-General. 
*The Solicitor-General. 
*The Treasurer of the Middle Temple. 
*The Treasurer of the Inner Temple. 
*The Treasurer of Lincoln's Inn. 
*The Treasurer of Gray's Inn. 

The President of the Incorporated Law Society, U.K. 

* Ex officio t when willing, 

The Marquis of Salisbury, K.G. 

The Earl of Derby, K.G. 

The Lord Bishop of Oxford. 

The Lord Aberdare, G.C.B. 

The Lord Hannen. 

The Lord Herschell. 

The Lord Penzance, Dean of Arches. 

The Lord Thring. 

The Lord Justice Cotton. 
tTHE Lord Justice Lindley. 
•J-The Lord Justice Bowen. 

The Lord Justice Kay. 

Mr. Justice Cave. 

Mr. Justice Charles. 

Mr. Justice Chitty. 

Mr. Justice Day. 

Mr. Justice Grantham. 

Mr. Justice Jeune. 

Mr. jfusTiCE Kekewich. 

Mr. Justice North. 

Mr. Baron Pollock. 
tMR. Justice Stirling. 
fMR. Justice Wills. 

The Hon. Sir Thomas Galt, Chief Justice, Ontario. 

The Hon. Horace Gray, Justice of the United States Supreme Court. 

The Hon. Sir S. W. Griffith, Q.C, K.C.M.G., Premier of Queensland. 

The Hon. Sir Charles Lilley, Chief Justice of Queensland. 

The Hon. O. W. Holmes, Jun., Justice of the Supreme Court, Massachusetts. 

The Hon. Russell S. Taft, Supreme Court, Vermont. 

The Hon. S. J. Way, Chief Justice of South Australia. 

The Hon. J. S. Williams, Judge of the Supreme Court, Dunedin, New Zealand. 

I Executive Committee. 

[Continued on next page. 



28 



OFFICERS AND COUNCIL-cominued. 



James W. Alsop, Solicitor, Liverpool. 

Professor James Barr Ames, Harvard. 

Sir W. R. Anson, Warden of All Souls College, 
Oxford. 

J. Anstie, Q.C. 

Melville M. Bigelow, Boston, Mass. 
tS. R. SCARGILL Bird, F.S.A., Public Record 
Office. 

George Tucker Bispham, Dean of Law 
School, University of Pennsylvania. 

The Hon. S. H. Blake, Q.C, Toronto. 

G. H. Blakesley, Lincoln's Inn. 

J. B. Braithwaite, Lincoln's Inn. 

Seward Brice, Q.C. 

E. W. Byrne, Q.C. 
fR. Campbell, Lincoln's Inn. 

S. J. Chadwick, F.S.A., Solicitor. 
fHYDE Clarke, V.P.R.Hist.S. 

Alfred Cock, Q.C. 

Arthur Cohen, Q.C. 

tMONTAGUE CRACKANTHORPE, Q.C. 

The Right Hon. Sir R. Couch. 

Brinton Coxe, Philadelphia. 
fR. CUNLIFFE, Solicitor. 

Rev. W. Cunningham, D.D., F.R.Hist.S., Uni- 
versity Lecturer on History, Cambridge. 

John Cutler, Professor of Law, King's College, 
London. 

Sir Horace Davey, Q.C, M.P. 

Professor A. V. DiCEY, Oxford. 

Kenelm E. Digby. 
tP. Edward Dove, Lincoln's Inn. 

Professor T. W. Dwight, Dean of the Law 
School, Columbia College, New York. 

His Honour Judge Eddis, Q.C. 
tH. W. Elphinstone, Lincoln's Inn. 

Charles Elton, Q.C, M.P. 
tJOHN Evans, T.R.S., President of the Society 
of Antiquaries. 

R. I. Finnemore, J.P., F.R.Hist.S., Natal. 

Professor John Chipman Gray, Harvard. 

Hubert Hall, F.R.Hist.S., Public Record 
Office. 

W. J. Hardy, F.S.A. 

Professor J. I. Clarke Hare, Philadelphia. 

T. HODGKIN, D.CL. 

Professor T. E. Holland, Oxford. 

Professor NOBUSHIGE HozuMi, Tokyo. 

J. INSKIP, Solicitor, Bristol. 



A. R. J ELF, Q.C. 

E. K. Karslake, Q.C 
fGRiNHAM Keen, Solicitor. 

Professor W. A. Keener, Harvard. 
Courtney S. Kenny, Downing College, 
Cambridge. 
fB. G. Lake, Solicitor. 
Professor C C Langdell, Harvard. 
Henry C Lea, Philadelphia. 
W. A. Lindsay, Middle Temple, Portcullis 

Pursuivant of Arms. 
His Honour Judge Vernon Lushington, Q.C. 
tH. C Maxwell Lyte, F.S.A., Deputy Keeper 

of the Public Records. 
tJOHN Macdonell, Editor of the State Trials 

Reports. 
fProfessor F. W. Maitland, F.R.Hist.S., Cam- 
bridge. 
tC Trice Martin, F.S.A, Public Record Office 

Rokuichiro Masujima, Tokyo. 
tH. S. MiLMAN, F.S.A., Director of the Society 

of Antiquaries. 
tSTUART Moore, F.S.A., Inner Temple. 
The Rt. Hon. G. Osborne Morgan, Q.C, M.P. 
J. Fletcher Moulton, Q.C. 
tFRANCiS K. MUNTON, Solicitor. 
tProfessor Sir Frederick Pollock, Bart. 
G. W. Prothero, King's College, Cambridge. 
William Henry Rawle, Philadelphia. 
The Hon. Henry Reed, Philadelphia. 
John Rigby, Q.C 
Professor Rogers, Michigan. 

F. E. Sawyer, F.S.A., Solicitor. 
Wm. a. Shortt, New York. 
Professor W. W. Skeat, Cambridge. 
Professor Goldwin Smith, Toronto. 

tHuGH Stirling, Solicitor. 

Whitley Stokes, CS.I., Inner Temple. 

Sir Robert Stout, K.C.M.G., Dunedin. 

Professor J. B. Thayer, Harvard. 

Professor TiEDEMANN, Missouri. 

John Westlake, Q.C. 
tF. Meadows White, Q.C. 

Sir W. A. White, G.C.M.G., F.R.Hist.S. 
H.B.M. Ambassador Constantinople. 

J. C Wilson, Exeter College, Oxford. 

Sidney Woolf, Q.C 

The Hon. Geo. B. Young, Minnesota. 



•nnorarp ê^erretaip fnr amenra: 

Ezra R. Thayer, Cambridge, Mass. 



îHoitorarp ^ttvttnv^ anlr Citas^urer: 

Edward Dove, 23 Old Buildings, Lincoln's Inn, London, W.C 
f Executive Committee. 



pruîted by 
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LONDON 



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